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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Women’s T20 World Cup: India begin with Pakistan demolition

Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh combine to pull off record chase

PTI Cape Town Published 13.02.23, 04:02 AM
India’s Jemimah Rodrigues is ecstatic after hitting the winning runs against Pakistan in the Women’s T20 World Cup Group B match in Cape Town on Sunday.

India’s Jemimah Rodrigues is ecstatic after hitting the winning runs against Pakistan in the Women’s T20 World Cup Group B match in Cape Town on Sunday. Getty Images

Jemimah Rodrigues played a commanding innings in a superb chase as she, along with youngster Richa Ghosh, gave India Women a thumping seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in their opening Women’s T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

Jemimah (53 not out off 38 balls) and Richa (31 not out off 20 balls) stitched 58 runs for the unconquered fourth wicket as India chased down a challenging target of 150 with six balls to spare. Jemimah struck eight boundaries while Richa hit five fours during their stay at the crease as India reached 151/3 in 19 overs, their highest successful chase in the T20 World Cup.

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Shafali Verma (33 off 25 balls) and Yastika Bhatia (17) gave a good start to the Indian run chase, stitching 38 runs in 5.3 overs. But Shafali’s dismissal in the 10th over with Sidra Ameen taking a fine catch near the boundary off the bowling of Nashra Sandhu set India on the backfoot.

India reached 67/2 at the halfway mark.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur struck a boundary from the third delivery she faced and repeated it in the same 11th over to swell the Indian total. But she was guilty of trying to slog-sweep across the line and against the turn off the bowling of Fatima Sana.

The top edge was easily taken by Bismah Maroof as India were reduced to 93/3 in 13.3 overs.

India needed 83 runs from the last 10 overs and despite the fall of crucial wickets, the good start and batting depth kept India in the hunt. But the run rate kept climbing for India as they needed 47 from the last five overs.

With Jemimah and new batter Richa getting the boundaries often, the equation became 28 runs from three overs.

Richa turned the match on its head as she hit three successive boundaries off the first three balls of the 18th over bowled by Aiman Anwer.

Richa Ghosh plays a shot during her aggressive knock against Pakistan on Sunday.

Richa Ghosh plays a shot during her aggressive knock against Pakistan on Sunday. Getty Images

Needing 14 from the last two overs, Jemimah struck three fours in the penultimate over to end the match quickly.

Earlier, Pakistan posted 149/4 after electing to bat, their highest T20 World Cup total.

Pakistan were reduced to 43/3 in the eighth over but they made a brilliant recovery, scoring 91 runs in the second half of their innings with captain Bismah Maroof (68 not out) and Ayesha Naseem (43 not out) stitching 81 runs for the unconquered fifth wicket.

But Jemimah and Richa outshone Pakistan’s effort with the bat.

Among the India bowlers, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav was the most successful with figures of 2/21, while Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar got a wicket each.

While the win will give India confidence, their bowling will keep them a bit worried ahead of the tougher tests ahead. Leaking so many runs against Pakistan was not on the expected lines.

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