India beat Pakistan in Women's T20 World Cup

Jemimah helped India beat Pakistan by seven wickets

By PTI

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India's Jemimah Rodrigues (right) plays a shot as Pakistan's wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali looks on. — AFP
India's Jemimah Rodrigues (right) plays a shot as Pakistan's wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali looks on. — AFP

Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 9:15 PM

Experienced batter Jemimah Rodrigues delivered a batting masterclass as she and youngster Richa Ghosh held their nerves under pressure to guide India to a seven-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Cape Town on Saturday.

Jemimah (53 not out off 38 balls) and Richa (31 not out off 20 balls) stitched 58 runs for the unconquered fourth wicket as India chased down a challenging target of 150 with six balls to spare.

Jemimah struck eight boundaries while Richa hit five fours during their unbeaten knocks as India reached 151 for 3 in 19 overs, their highest successful chase in the T20 World Cup.

Shafali Verma (33 off 25 balls) and Yastika Bhatia (17) gave a good start to the Indian run chase, stitching 38 runs in 5.3 overs. The powerplay overs yielded 43 runs for one wicket.

Shafali, who successfully reviewed an LBW decision in the fourth over, was going strong as she took the attack to the opposition bowlers. But her dismissal in the 10th over with Sidra Ameen taking a fine catch near the boundary off the bowling of Nashra Sandhu set India on the back-foot.

One-down Jemimah survived a close stumping call as India reached 67 for 2 at the halfway mark with the experienced captain Harmanpreet Kaur having arrived at the crease.

Harmanpreet struck a boundary from the third delivery she faced and repeated it in the same 11th over to swell the Indian total. But she was guilty of trying to slog-sweep across the line and against the turn off the bowling of Fatima Sana.

The top edge was easily taken by Bismah Maroof as India were reduced to 93 for 3 in 13.3 overs.

India needed 83 runs from the last 10 overs and despite the fall of crucial wickets, the good start and batting depth kept India in the hunt. But run rate kept climbing for India as they needed 47 from the last five overs.

With Jemimah and new batter Richa getting the boundaries often, the equation became 28 runs from three overs.

Richa turned the match on its head as she hit three successive boundaries in the first three balls of the 18th over bowled by Aiman Anwer. Ghosh was smart enough to send two widish deliveries to the fence.

Needing 14 from the last two overs, Jemimah struck three fours in the penultimate over to end the match in a jiffy.

Earlier, Pakistan posted 149 for 4 after electing to bat, their highest T20 World Cup total.

Pakistan were reduced to 43 for 3 in the eighth over but they made a brilliant recovery, scoring 91 runs in the second half of their innings with captain Bismah Maroof (68 not out) and Ayesha Naseem (43 not out) stitching 81 runs for the unconquered fifth wicket.

Maroof struck seven fours during her 55-ball unbeaten knock while Naseem hit two fours and two sixes from 25 balls during her unbeaten innings.

Pakistan scored 91 runs from the second half of their innings and 58 from the last five overs, as Maroof and Naseem frustrated the Indian bowlers for more than eight overs to take their side to a challenging total.

For India, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav was the most successful bowler with figures of 2/21 while Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar got one wicket each.

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