India registered an emphatic 5-wicket victory over arch rivals Pakistan in the Women's Asia Cup on Tuesday. A collective effort from the Indian bowlers reduced Pakistan to a total of 97 in 20 overs after which the Indian top-order chased down the target with 4 balls remaining to seal the victory.
Brief scores:Pakistan 97/7 in 20 overs (Nain Abidi 37(41),
After winning their tournament opener against hosts Thailand by 9 wickets, the Indian Women's team carried on their good form in the
Indian bowlers tie down Pakistan
After recording a win by 9 wickets over minnows Nepal in their first match, the Pakistan batters were unable to carry on with their batting exploits against the Indian bowlers. Ekta Bisht struck in the fourth over to remove opener Javeria Khan with the score at 22. Anuja
Nain Abidi then tried to steady the innings without losing any wicket by constantly rotating the strike but was running out of partners at the other end. Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur then chipped in with two wickets by removing Iram Javed and Nida Dar in back-to-back overs sending Pakistan to 70/5 by the end of the 16th over. With all Pakistani batters departing for single-digit scores, Ekta Bisht claimed two more wickets to restrict Pakistan to a total of 97/7 in 20 overs.
Batters chase down the target easily
Taking the confidence from their performance against Thailand in the opening match, India opted to send veteran Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana to open the innings in place of Veda Krishnamurthy and S Meghana. With the target being an easy one, both the openers scored at a relaxed rate of 3 runs RPO. Mandhana was the first to depart in the 8th over with the score reading 27/1. Mithali continued with her good work by combining with Meghana to add 20 more runs before Nida Dar removed Meghana in the eleventh over.
Dar then removed last match's star Veda Krishnamurthy for just 4 runs, but skipper Harmanpreet Kaur ensured that there were not too many casualties with her assured play. She and Mithali Raj put up a partnership of 26 runs in the next four overs before Mithali perished by playing a return catch to off-spinner Sana Mir in the 17th over. Despite the fall of Jhulan Goswami in the penultimate over with the score at 89/5, Harmanpreet ensured that India chased down the target with four balls remaining.