Cape Town: “Driven hard, Save your legs Jemimah Rodrigues” cheered Alan Wilkins as India started her World Cup campaign with a win.
India defeated arch-nemesis Pakistan at the Newlands Cricket Ground by seven wickets to start their search for first World Cup glory.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. However, The openers could not do much as Javeria departed for 8 and Muneeba for 12. At a point, the Pakistanis looked pretty hit at 68/4. The solid effort of captain Bismah Maroof and Ayesha Naseem powered the squad further to a solid 149/4.
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Maroof tied with Chamari Athapaththu for the highest runs in the tournament. She scored 68 off 55 balls. Meanwhile, Naseem scored 43 off 25 in the end. Radha Yadav took two while Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma shared one.
Chasing 150, India lost Bhatia early in the game. U19 Winning Captain Shafali Verma played a quick inning for the Blues. Her partnership with Rodrigues scared the game away form the opposition. Minutes later, Pakistan took out Verma and Kaur later breaking the momentum.
After the three wickets, Pakistan seemed to have a chance in the game. At a point, the NRR required went over 10. Nevertheless, the striking play by Rodrigues (53* off 38) and Ghosh (31* off 20) made the Indian victory possible. Wilkins attributes India’s chase to “the power of Richa Ghosh and the touch and timing of Jemimah Rodrigues.”
India registered the second highest run chase in Women’s T20 World Cup history. India broke the feat achieved by West Indies in 2016 at Kolkata. The highest chase in Women’s T20 World Cup goes to England’s 164-run target set by Australia at the Oval in 2009.
The victory took India to the second place in the group. Excluding India and Pakistan, England, West Indies, and Ireland also belongs in Group B.
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