India’s ace batswoman – Mithali Raj once again showed her class and elegance as she powered the women in blue to an easy seven-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Women’s World T20, last evening. Chasing a tricky 134 to win, Mithali scored an aggressive half-century to anchor India’s second straight victory with six balls to spare in the showpiece tournament underway in the Caribbean islands.
Mithali’s knock of 56 off 47 balls included seven boundaries in the Group B match which was marred by unprecedented docking of 10 penalty runs on Pakistan. Previous game centurion and captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy remained not out on 14 and 8 respectively. With the win, 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.
Things didn’t go as planned for the women in green as the Indians were gifted 10 runs on their total even before the first ball was being bowled. 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. Also, this victory has helped India to avenge their narrow 2-run defeat under D/L method against Pakistan in New Delhi in the previous edition of the tournament in 2016.
The women in blue 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 the deep square leg. Earlier, Indian bowlers pinned Pakistan down for the 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.