Harmanpreet Kaur-led India Women registered an emphatic victory over arch-rivals Pakistan Women in their second Group A match to keep their medal hopes alive at the ongoing Commonwealth Games. The Women in Blue beat Pakistan by 8 wickets in a rain-curtailed match.
After the bowlers bundled Pakistan for a paltry 99, Smriti Mandhana (63*) played a quickfire knock to help India walk away with the game. Notably, this was a must-win game for India Women having lost to Australia in their first Group A match.
Bismah Maroof-led Pakistan faltered big time after opting to bat first. The Women in Green lost their first wicket on naught as Meghna Singh removed Iram Javed on the third ball of her first over. Captain Maroof and Muneeba Ali held the fort for a while and knitted a half-century stand but Maroof shortly lost her wicket to Sneh Rana. Pakistan never recovered from the blow and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
As a result, the team was bundled out for a mere 99 in 18 overs. Sneh Rana and Radha Yadav walked away with two wickets each while Renuka Singh, Meghna Singh, and Shafali Verma took a wicket each. Pakistan lost three of its batters due to miscommunication. Aliya Riyaz, Omaima Sohail, and Tuba Hassan were all run out by India.
After that, India were as clinical as possible in the chase as they finished over the line with 38 balls to spare. Smriti Mandhana played an outstanding knock of 63* off 42 balls and helped India walk away with an eight-wicket win. The southpaw batter adopted an aggressive approach right from the first ball and accumulated runs at a quick rate. Such was Mandhana’s pace of scoring runs that Shafali Verma had to hold back.
Although India lost a couple of wickets, it never seemed that the Women in Blue are going to lose the game. Mandhana sealed the deal for India with a six over long-on. With this win, India moved to the top of the table in Group A.