Women's Cricket World Cup: India trounce Pakistan to maintain perfect record

Published March 6, 2022
Pakistan’s Javeria Khan plays a shot watched by India's wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh (L) during the Round 1 Women's Cricket World cup match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AFP
Pakistan’s Javeria Khan plays a shot watched by India's wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh (L) during the Round 1 Women's Cricket World cup match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AFP
India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad (L) celebrates with Smriti Mandhana the wicket of Pakistan’s Javeria Khan during the Round 1 Women's Cricket World cup match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AFP
India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad (L) celebrates with Smriti Mandhana the wicket of Pakistan’s Javeria Khan during the Round 1 Women's Cricket World cup match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AFP
India's Deepti Sharma is bowled in front of Pakistan's Sidra Nawaz during the women's world cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AP
India's Deepti Sharma is bowled in front of Pakistan's Sidra Nawaz during the women's world cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 6. — AP

India dispatched a meek Pakistan by 107 runs after a record stand by Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana overcame a mid-innings slump in their Women's Cricket World Cup clash at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

The first clash between the Asian rivals since India's victory in the 2017 World Cup ended with Pakistan all out in the 43rd over for 137 in reply to India's 244 for seven.

India had prevailed in all 10 previous one-day matches between the two, but Bismah Maroof's team threatened to pull off an upset when they reduced Mithali Raj's side to 114-6 in the 34th over.

Opener Smriti Mandhana made 52 but it was counter-attacking knocks from lower-order batters Vastrakar (67) and Rana, who made unbeaten 53, that helped India to a decent total of 244-7.

Vastrakar, the player of the match, belted 67 off 59 deliveries before she was bowled by Fatima Sana at the start of the final over while Rana was unbeaten on 53 off 48.

While it was a comprehensive victory for India, captain Mithali Raj said there was plenty to work on if they were to make the playoffs.

“A very important partnership there between Pooja and Sneh brought us to the total we put on the board, but that is something we would like to address, because when you start playing the tournament, it's important that your top order scores runs,” she said.

At the top of the order for India, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma contributed 52 and 40 respectively and, along with Vastrakar and Rana, the quartet provided all but 32 of their total.

Pakistan did not help their cause by giving away 11 extras including three in a nine-ball over from Fatima Sana that included two wides and a no ball.

While the required run rate was under five an over, Pakistan fell off the pace from the start and after seven overs had only eight runs on the board.

At the halfway stage, they were 78 for five, compared to India's 100 for three, and struggling to cope with the spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and the superb glovework of 18-year-old Richa Ghosh behind the stumps.

The veteran left-armer Gayakwad took four for 31 off her 10 overs while teenager Ghosh had a hand in five dismissals with four catches and a stumping.

Bismah said Pakistan could not capitalise on the strong start and let India off the hook.

“We gave away easy runs to them, we were sloppy on the field, we didn't put them under pressure,” she said. “Our batting has to improve, our shot selection wasn't good, we'll work on it ahead of the next game.”

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