Providence (Guyana) Nov 12:
Veteran Mithali Raj smashed a aggressive half century to guide India to an easy 7-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Women’s World T20 here Sunday.
Raj anchored the Indian run chase with a 47-ball 56 which she made with the help of seven fours in the Group B match which was marred by unprecedented docking of 10 penalty runs on Pakistan.
Even before a ball being faced, 10 runs were on India’s scoreboard after Pakistan were docked five-run penalty twice during their innings on account of their batswomen running on the danger area of the pitch during their innings.
India chased down the target of 134 with six balls to spare, reaching 137 for 3 in 19 overs. Previous game centurion and captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy remained not out on 14 and 8 respectively.
With the win on Sunday, India (with four points) made a big step towards making it to the semifinals from the five-team Group B. Two teams each from the two groups qualify for the semifinals.
India also avenged their narrow 2-run defeat under D/L method against Pakistan in New Delhi in the previous edition of the tournament in 2016.
India made a strong start with openers Raj and Smriti Mandhana (26) finding the boundaries at regular intervals in their 73-run stand from 9.3 overs. Mandhana fell to Bismah Maroof with Omaima Sohail taking a superb catch at deep square leg.
The 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues (16), who scored a half century in the previous game against New Zealand, seemed to continue from where she left but she played a shot too many and perished in the process, caught and bowled by Nida Dar in the 15th over.
Earlier, Indian bowlers pinned Pakistan down for most part of their innings before allowing them to wriggle out for 133 for 7.
Opting to field after winning the toss, India made a great start with the ball, reducing Pakistan to 30 for 3 in the seventh over.
Pakistan made a fine recovery thanks to half centuries from Bismah Maroof (53) and Nida Dar (52) as the duo stitched 93 runs for the fourth wicket to take their side to a competitive total.
India also dropped at least three easy catches, which allowed Pakistan to come back into the Group B match.