Unconvincing group-stage show helped us win the final against Pak, says Mithali Raj

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© Mithali Raj Facebook

Unconvincing group-stage show helped us win the final against Pak, says Mithali Raj

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SportsCafe Desk

12/05/2016

On Sunday, the Indian women's team retained the Asia Cup T20 tournament made even sweeter as they beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the final with star batswoman Mithali Raj scoring an unbeaten 73. Mithali spoke about her gameplan during the final and the satisfaction of scoring big as an opener.

India won their sixth Women's Asia Cup trophy on Sunday with a 16-run victory over neighbours Pakistan in the final in Bangkok. India won the toss and elected to bat first and rode on a splendid innings from opener Mithali Raj who scored 73 not-out to take them to a fighting total of 121/5 in 20 overs. It took a collective effort from the Indian bowlers to restrict Pakistan to 104/6 in the second innings to take home the trophy.

Earlier in the week, India beat Pakistan by 5 wickets in the group stages of the tournament, where Mithali top-scored with 36 not out. But according to her, it was the fact that the win was not satisfactory which helped the team to dominate the final match.

“We won against them in the group stage, but then again, it wasn’t very convincing. Knowing the fact that the Indian team is much better than what we have played in the last two –three games against Pakistan, it was imperative that we put up a far better show in today’s game,” she opined.

Speaking about the team's gameplan for the final, Mithali said the team achieved their target while batting.

“I was sure that a minimum of 120 runs was required on this wicket in the final. Anything beyond that would be very good for the team. Anything around 90 or 100 would not have been enough to win a game,” said the highest run-getter in women's cricket.

After trying out a couple of combinations with their openers in the group stage, India went with star player Mithali Raj to open alongside S. Meghana which suited them perfectly.

“I am flexible to push myself down the order also depending on what the team’s requirement,” Mithali told BCCI.tv, after the game.

Mithali, who won the Player of the match and Player of the series, continued: “In this tournament in the main games against - Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - in the group stage I opened and it gave me a lot of experience to play on a slower track in this tournament.” 

Mithali also spoke about the bad memories the team endured during the T20 World Cup earlier this year, where India exited from the group stages of the tournament.

“I have been consistent so I am quite happy that I have got the player of the tournament and the player of the match. All those not so good memories of the World Cup I have finally crossed that and overcome it. It took all of us quite a while to overcome the defeat in the World Cup. Though for unfortunate reasons, but a defeat is a defeat,” the 34-year old said.

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