New Delhi: Spinner Ekta Bisht produced a five-star display with the ball as India crushed Pakistan by 95 runs to register their third victory in as many games in the ICC Women’s World Cup in Derby on Sunday.
With this victory, the Women in Blue also continued their unbeaten record against Pakistan in ODIs as now, they have won all 10 matches that they have played against their arch-rivals. India now have six points from three games and are at the top of the table.
After a couple of impressive outings by the batswomen, it was the turn of Bisht (10-2-18-5) and Co. to defend a meagre total of 169, skittling the opposition out for a lowly 74 in 38.1 overs.
What looked like a sub-par score turned out to be a challenging one for Pakistani batters, who have never successfully chased more than 134 in a 50-over World Cup game.
They were all at sea against Ekta’s arm balls. She removed Ayesha Zafar (1), Sidra Nawaz (0) and Iram Javed (0) in her first four overs to wreak havoc.
All three deliveries were almost identical where the batters played for the turn but it didn’t turn much after pitching. She later came back to get a couple of wickets more.
Pakistan never recovered from that setback. Seamers Jhulan Goswami (1/12 in 5 overs) and young Mansi Joshi (2/9 in 6.1 overs) were also on target. Deepti Sharma (1/21) and Harmanpreet Kaur (1/6) were economical as all the batswomen struggled to get going.
Opener Nahida Khan (23 off 62 balls) and skipper Sana Mir (29) were the only ones to reach double figures for Pakistan.
Earlier, Indian batters had a disappointing day as they could only manage a paltry 169 for 9 against arch-rivals Pakistan in their third round robin match of the ICC Women’s World Cup match here.
Electing to bat, the Indians never had any momentum in their innings once in-form Smriti Mandhana (2) was dismissed cheaply. Worse, skipper Mithali Raj (8) and her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur (10) could not also score too many runs, making it difficult for the other players to accelerate.
Opener Poonam Raut (48) consumed 72 balls while Deepti Sharma fared no better playing 63 balls for a sedate 28.
It was keeper Sushma Verma (33 off 35 balls), who used the long handle to get the team near 170-run mark.
One of the main reasons for India not being able to get past 200-run mark was because of a very slow fifth wicket partnership between Mona Meshram (6, 35 balls) and Harmanpreet (10, 23 balls). They were together for 8 overs (between 26.3 and 34.3) which yielded only 13 runs.
While Harmanpreet was finding it difficult to hit big as she is playing with a finger injury, Meshram just could not pick the singles.
This was the time when Pakistan’s spinners were in operation.
Left-arm spin duo of Nashra Sandhu (4/26 in 10 overs) and Sadia Yousuf (2/30 in 10 overs) inflicted the maximum damage, taking 6 wickets for 56 runs in the 20 overs that they bowled.
The final six overs of the innings turned out to be productive for India as Sushma’s attacking display fetched 41 runs during that phase.
((With PTI Inputs))