India Women bagged their fifth consecutive victory in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 2017, as they locked horns with arch rivals Pakistan in Super Six round at the P Sara Oval, Colombo.
Unbeaten India have already qualified for the World Cup, and with this triumph, they maintain the undefeated tag in the tournament. Indian bowlers played exceptionally well, restricting Pakistan at a paltry 67. The top-order batters then eased the team to a 7-wicket win to enter the final match.
India Women won the toss and sent Pakistan to bat. Pacer Shikha Pandey removed two of the top-order batters, Nahida Khan and Javeria Khan, early on for single-digit scores. Wickets, however, kept falling regularly. Amidst the ruins, only Ayesha Zafar and Bismah Maroof could get to double-digit scores but could not go past the 20-run mark.
Once spin was introduced, Pakistan batters look even more uncomfortable. Ekta Bisht bagged a 5-for, registering best figures for any India Women bowler against Pakistan in ODIs and made the Pakistan middle-order depart without any significant contribution. Their innings came to an end with 67 runs on the board, out of which 24 were extras.
Apart from Ekta and Shikha, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya and Harmanpreet Kaur remained successful with the ball, bagging one wicket each. A delivery that requires a mention is the one that dismissed Aliya Riaz: Devika Vaidya pitched it just outside leg-stump; the ball turned massively to dismantle Aliya’s defence — a delightful sight for a cricket-purist.
On the other hand, India’s fielding efforts were as commendable as their bowling. Though there was an easy chance put down by Devika, Veda Krishnamurthy picked up some stunning catches including a one-handed blinder to her left.
This is the second-lowest total ever registered by Pakistan against India:
|Lowest scores by Pakistan Women against India Women|
Chasing the target, India lost a couple of wickets in quick succession, but Deepti kept her cool and remained unbeaten at 29, holding the innings together. Harmanpreet hit two fours and a six to play an attractive knock. The winning runs came off Veda’s bat; she hit a four to take India to yet another victory.
Pakistan Women 67 (Ayesha Zafar 19, Bismah Maroof 13; Shikha Pandey 2 for 9, Ekta Bisht 5 for 8) lost to India Women 70 for 3 (Deepti Sharma 29*, Harmanpreet Kaur 24; Sana Mir 1 for 26, Sadia Yousuf 2 for 19) by 7 wickets