India beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in a Group B match on Sunday Jemimah Rodrigues (53), Richa Ghosh (31) and Shafali Verma (33) were the top scorers as India opened their account in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup with a morale boosting win.
Chasing 150 to win, India were off to a steady start and had a productive powerplay but opener Yastika Bhatia fell after a painstaking 17 off 20 balls. Shafali Verma, on the other hands, scored quickly to keep the Indian scoreboard moving and taking it past 50 in 7 overs.
However, India suffered a blow when Verma was dismissed near the halfway mark of the innings, leaving India 85 to get from the last 10 overs.
Thereafter Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur steadied the ship for the women in Blue.
But with the departure of their skipper, India seemed in a tricky position needing 55 from the last six overs. However, the steady head of Rodrigues, coupled with the big hits from Richa Ghosh late in the innings helped India reach the target in 18.5 overs. This was also the second-highest run chase in the history of the T20 World Cup.
Earlier, Pakistan scored 58 runs in the last five overs to post 149/4 in 20 overs. This was after skipper Bismah Maroof slammed 68 off 55 balls while Ayesha Naseem hit a quick-fire 43 off 25 deliveries.
Pakistan had a decent powerplay, but India picked a few quick wickets after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in their opening ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Group B match on Sunday.
Deepti Sharma was the first to strike in the PowerPlay, but the women in green did make a decent recovery with Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof. But after the Powerplay, Pakistan lost quick wickets as Radha Yadav, and Pooja Vastrakar struck in back-to-back overs.
After that Maroof and Sidra Ameen stitched a partnership, converting ones into twos and keeping the scoreboard ticking. The partnership was finally broken when Ameen fell to Radha Yadav while attempting a reverse sweep.
After that, Ayesha Naseem’s lusty blows brought Pakistan back into the game. While Maroof went on to bring up her fifty, Naseem kept finding the boundaries at will.
Meanwhile, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led India brought in Harleen Deol in place of Smriti Mandhana, who was ruled out of the opening match after suffering a finger injury
during a warm-up game against Australia.
Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof said the decision to bat first was taken after looking at the wicket, which was dry. Harmanpreet also said she would have opted to bat first had she won the toss.
India Women XI: Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Richa Ghosh (w), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Thakur Singh.
Pakistan Women XI: Bismah Maroof (c), Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar, Sidra Ameen, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Aiman Anwer, Nashra Sandhu, Sadia Iqbal.