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India vs Pakistan T20 ICC Women's World Cup

India vs Pakistan T20 ICC Women's World Cup

Mithali Raj leads India to comfortable win over Pakistan

Mithali Raj scored half century with patience and his experience. His half centure made India as winner by 7 wickets.

Poonam Yadav and Dayalan hemlata got two wickets and participate very well role of bowller in India victory over Pakistan.

It was an error-filled match. India's butterfingers resulted in four dropped catches and Pakistan gave it their own flavour through their running-on-the-pitch offences for which they were penalised 10 runs. It was also the match in which three experienced batters scored half-centuries. There were two from the Pakistan side - off the bats of Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar. But those knocks were overshadowed by Mithali Raj's 47-ball 56 as India registered their second win in as many games in the Women's World T20, chasing down a target of 134 with seven wickets in hand and six deliveries to spare at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Sunday (November 11), to move to the top of the Group B table.

With the luxury of a 10-run headstart - thanks to Pakistan's running-on-the-wicket misdemeanours - India's new opening pair of Raj and Smrithi Mandhana went about the chase in a steady manner. Concentrating on timing and placement on a slowish wicket, and playing with a straighter blade as compared to Pakistan's methods at the start of their innings, the Indian openers managed seven boundaries between them in the first six overs, three more than what the opposition had managed at that stage.

Mithali was the quicker of the openers in terms of scoring rate, with some loose bowling from Pakistan allowing her to add to her boundaries tally as she helped raise the half-century stand in the seventh over (without considering the 10 bonus runs). The partnership came to an end when Mandhana's attempt to clear the square-leg fence resulted in a catch in the deep.

But the experience of Mithali, coupled with the level-headed approach of the 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues, kept India on course. They didn't attempt anything fancy, stuck to the earlier approach, as they helped India past the 100-run mark in the 15th over. But the teenager fell while trying to hit spinner Nida over her head, handing a catch back to the bowler.

With the required rate crossing six an over for the last five overs, Raj decided to take her chances, going down the track twice to Anam Amin for a couple and a four to bring up a 42-ball fifty. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored a couple of useful boundaries through the third-man region to make things easier for India. Mithali's dismissal in the 18th over - when she miscued one to deep-midwicket - gave Pakistan a ray of hope. But with eight needed of the last two overs, Harmanpreet and Veda Krishnamurthy ensured there were no further hiccups, with the latter scoring the winning boundary in the 19th over.

Earlier, when Krishnamurthy took a good low catch at first slip to send back Ayesha Zafar off Arundhati Reddy's bowling in the opening over, followed by a couple of diving efforts to prevent boundaries, it seemed India had set the tone with their fielding after opting to bowl. Mandhana putting down a simple catch at mid-on - in between two fine fielding bits that brought about the run-outs of Omaima Sohail and Javeria Khan - appeared like a minor blip as Pakistan were struggling at 30 for 3 just after the powerplay. But Biju George, India's fielding coach, would have been a disappointed man after what transpired as the innings progressed.

Krishnamurthy put down a simple catch to offer Nida a reprieve and a short while later, Poonam Yadav grassed an opportunity to allow Nida an extended stay. Poonam also did not go for a catch off her own bowling when Maroof had miscued an attempted big hit, adding to India's fielding woes and allowing Pakistan to profit from it.

The multiple misses were sandwiched between some clever batting from Nida and Maroof, with the former donning the role of an aggressor. Good running between the wickets, unlike how Pakistan had started their innings, put pressure on India, as did Nida's powerful shots on either side of the fence, including a six over midwicket off Deepti Sharma. Nida had outscored Maroof at one stage but the 27-year-old left-hander caught up soon, unleashing cheeky shots behind square on the offside and going inside out, and overcoming dehydration issues, as she registered a 44-ball fifty.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's fourth-wicket pair was guilty of running on the danger area despite warnings, giving India five bonus runs. With the set batters both departing after their fifties, Pakistan weren't able to finish with a flourish and to add to their agony, they were handed a further five-run penalty for an offence that happened off the last ball of their innings.

Brief scores: Pakistan 133/7 in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 53, Nida Dar 52; Poonam Yadav 2-22) lost to India 137/3 in 19 overs (Mithali Raj 56, Smriti Mandhana 26; Nida Dar 1-17) by 7 wickets.

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