Raj’s assured knock helps India Women get the better of Pakistan in the World T20 Cup.

With India dropping four catches on the field and Pakistan running on the danger-area on the pitch, which resulted in them being penalized 10 runs for the same, the much-awaited clash between India and Pakistan in the Women’s T20 World Cup was not short of action.

After a slow start to the Pakistani innings, who were sent in to bat by India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur, the experienced pair of Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof steadied the ship to help the side notch up 133 runs on the board. The two batters each scored half-centuries before Mithali Raj showed her class to take India over the line with seven wickets in hand, which means that they have now registered two wins in as many games at Guyana.

With a 10-run headstart – courtesy Pakistan running on the track twice – Smriti Mandhana and Raj, who was pushed back to opening the innings, started steadily, concentrating on placement and timing. On a slow wicket, the Indians managed to score seven fours in the powerplay overs and soon notched up their half-century stand in the seventh over itself. After Mandhana was out attempting to clear the square-leg, Raj held the innings to ensure India was safely over the line.

Along with Jemimah Rodrigues, India got over the 100-run mark within the 15th over, but with the side still needing six an over in the last five overs, it was up to Raj to take her chances. She and skipper Kaur scored boundaries and sixes at well, and by the time Raj was dismissed, only eight runs were needed off two overs.

Earlier, India left all befuddled when they dropped four regulation catches which started with Mandhana spilling a simple catch at mid-on. Hemalatha, Veda Krishnamurthy and Deepti Sharma all dropped easy catches early on as well, which allowed Pakistan to get their innings together after they had been reduced to 30 for 3. Good running between the wickets and calculated shots allowed the side to get a competitive total on board, but their efforts were reduced to naught after they were penalized 10 runs for running on the danger area.

India next face Ireland on November 15, while Pakistan face-off against the Irish on 13th.

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