India Women batted poorly to make a mess of a relatively easy chase to go down to arch-rivals Pakistan by 13 runs in the Women’s Asia Cup on Friday.
For Pakistan Women, it was their first victory in T20Is over India in six years. It was also a good turnaround for them after suffering a shock defeat against Thailand in their last game.
Prior to this game, India enjoyed a 10-2 record over Pakistan, whose previous win over the arch-rivals came in the 2016 T20 World Cup in New Delhi.
After restricting Pakistan to 137/6, India, by far the most formidable team in the competition, lost the plot to be all out for 124 in 19.4 overs.
At 65 for five, India were in all sorts of trouble with the majority of the batters, including star player Smriti Mandhana (17 off 19), throwing their wickets away.
Pooja Vastrakar got herself run out after attempting a run off a misfield while Dayalan Hemalatha (20 off 22) let her team down by not capitalising on a start.
Questions will be raised over Harmanpreet Kaur’s fitness as she came into bat at No.7 before perishing cheaply.
“I think in the middle, we were trying to give other batters a chance. That cost us today. It was a chaseable target. In the middle overs, we were not able to rotate the strike,” a dejected Harmanpreet said after the match.
With India needing 61 off the last six overs, Pakistan had the upper hand. But Richa Ghosh (26 off 13), who had to be taken off the field when India fielded after suffering a heat stroke, brought India back into the game with three sixes against the spinners before getting caught in the deep in the 19th over.
Earlier, Pakistan put up an improved batting performance against the Indians though the total still seemed below par. Nida Dar (56 not out off 37 balls) and skipper Bismah Maroof (32 off 35) shared a crucial 76 run stand off 58 balls to give the innings a much-needed boost.
Off-spinner Deepti Sharma (3/27) stood out among India’s bowlers.
Brief scores: Pakistan 137/6 in 20 ovs (Nidar Dar 56 not out, Bismah Maroof 32; Deepti Sharma 3/27). India 124 in 19.4 ovs (Richa Ghosh 26; Nida 2/32).Pakistan won by 13 runs.
Written with inputs from PTI