Kolkata: There seems to be some sort of an eternal connection between Sundays and India- Pakistan clashes. While the men’s teams from both these nations went toe-to-toe on two Sundays in the the month of June, it was the eves this time, who came up with a memorable match. The contest which initially seemed to have all the perfect ingredients for a thriller turned out to be a thoroughly one sided affair in the end as the Indian women hammered their Pakistani counterparts by a huge margin of 95 runs in Derby.
On form, the Indian team went into the match with a lot of momentum and confidence as they were on the back of exciting wins against England and West Indies. The batswomen were in supreme form with Smriti Mandhana leading the way and the bowling and fielding too had been good.
Pakistan on the other hand had lost both their matches and it looked like that they would easily surrender the game to their arch-rivals. But all speculations and laws lose ground whenever India and Pakistan lock horns in cricket and exactly that happened.
The Indian batswomen who were in good form put on a poor performance and were restricted by the Pakistani bowlers to just 169/9 in their 50 overs. In-form Smriti Mandhana (2) was sent back to the pavilion by Diana Baig early on in the innings while skipper Mithali Raj (8) too was dismissed for a single digit score.
Punam Raut (47), Deepti Sharma (28) and wicketkeeper batswoman Sushma Verma (33) batted well to save India the blushes and took the total past 150. While the Indian fans were reminded of India’s dismal batting performance against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final, the game wasn’t over as the Indian women still had room for a fight back, as they had been in good form so far.
Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner from Uttarakhand put on a terrific display on spin bowling as her five-wicket haul ( 5/18) destroyed the Pakistani batting. Bisht was well supported by Harmanpreet Kaur ( 1/6) and veteran pacewoman Jhulan Goswami (1/12) which left the Pakistanis reeling at 24/5 at one stage. The match was as good as over by then as no one showed any sort of resistance or a will to fight back. Only skipper Sana Mir (29) looked to delay the inevitable for some time but then again, the game was all done and dusted by then.
Through this victory, India remained unbeaten in all the ten ODI’s it has played against Pakistan. Also, Mithali Raj’s team for the first time won three consecutive matches in the Women’s World Cup. India this cruised to their tenth victory over the women in green and now looks to be a solid favourite of winning the title.
India Women 169/9 ( Punam Raut 47, Sushma Verma 33; Nashra Sandhu 4/26) beat Pakistan Women 74 all out in 38.1 overs ( Sana Mir 29, Nahida Khan 23; Ekta Bisht 5/18) by 95 runs.