Chasing 150 to win, India got off to a steady start and had a productive powerplay but opener Yastika Bhatia fell after a painstaking 17 off 20 balls. Shafali Verma, on the other hands, scored quickly to keep the Indian scoreboard moving and taking it past 50 in 7 overs. However, India suffered a blow when Verma was dismissed near the halfway mark of the innings, leaving India 85 to get from the last 10 overs. Thereafter Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur steadied the ship for the women in Blue.
But with the departure of their skipper, India seemed in a tricky position needing 55 from the last six overs. However, the steady head of Rodrigues, coupled with the big hits from Richa Ghosh late in the innings helped India reach the target with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, India bowlers were on the money right from the start as Deepti Sharma was the first strike in the PowerPlay but the women in green made a decent recovery with Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof. But after the Powerplay, Pakistan lost quick wickets as Radha Yadav and Pooja Vastrakar struk in back to back overs. Thereafter, Bismah Maroof , who struck a fluent fifty and Ayesha Naseem’s lusty blows propelled Pakistan to 149/4 in 20 overs.
Meanwhile, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof said the decision to bat first was taken after looking at the wicket, which was dry. Harmanpreet also said she would have opted to bat first had she won the toss.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
“High quality run chase this from @BCCIWomen. Jemima and Richa were fantastic, but what stuck out was how calm the dressing room was when we needed 40 from 4 overs,” veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tweeted.
“WHAT A WIN! The second highest successful run chase in Women’s #T20WorldCup history. Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh were extra special in a thrilling run chase. Great start to the tournament, best wishes @BCCIWomen,” National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman tweeted.