Ekta Bisht(5/18) starred in India’s 95-run victory against Pakistan as the Indian bowlers restricted the arch-rivals to 74 after giving a 170-run target. Earlier, Punam Raut(47) and Sushma Verma(33) ensured India put up a competitive total of 169 runs on a sluggish Derby strip.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to set up a target for Pakistan to chase. However, the decision to bat first did not go in the team’s favour as in-form Smriti Mandhana perished for 2 early in the innings putting the Indian team in a spot of bother. Mandhana’s wicket was followed by a series of quiet overs after which Punam Raut, who was joined by Deepti Sharma in the middle, decided to shift gears to help accelerate the innings.
The Indian batters went about their task of scoring cautiously and built up a 67-run partnership before Raut was dismissed for 47 just whiskers away from her second half-century in the tournament. Indian skipper Mithali Raj soon followed, scoring only 8 runs and the Indian innings once again looked to falter as Harmanpreet Kaur and Mona Meshram were dismissed cheaply. However, Sushma Verma took charge towards the end of the innings and her 35-ball 33 ensured that India finished their innings with 169 runs on the board.
In reply, Pakistan chase was not much unlike their opponents too as they started their innings cautiously but Mithali Raj’s move to allow spinners dictate terms early in the innings paid off as Ekta Bisht sent Ayesha Zafar packing in the second over to provide India the perfect start. Shortly after, Indian bowlers picked up three successive wickets to reduce Pakistan to 15-4. The Pakistani batswomen then tried to steady their innings but failed as they lost two wickets in two successive overs that resulted in the team finishing with 26-6 at the end of 15 overs.
Pakistan never really recovered from that as Bisht completed her five-wicket haul which resulted in the Pakistani side bundling out for a paltry 74 runs in the 39th over as India kept their 100 percent win record over their opponents in ODI cricket intact.
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