Struggling at 114/6 in the 34th over, India rode on a fine batting show from Smriti Mandana (52), Deepti Sharma (40), Sneh Rana (53 n. o. ) and Pooja Vastrakar (67) to steer India to a competitive 244/7. Bowlers, led by left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4/ 31) then turned up the heat to bowl out Pakistan for 137 in 43 overs, thus handing India a handsome 107-run win.
In the process, they stretched their winning streak against their rivals from across the border to 11 matches. Diana Baig provided Pakistan the first break, when a slightly impatient Shafali Verma went for a big one on the legside but saw her bails tumble. Smriti and Deepti then decided to grind it out with their 92-run association. Smriti decided to play with controlled aggression and the ploy worked. But spinner Nashra Sandhu (2/36) halted the partnership when Deepti played across, missed the line completely and watched as her off-stump cartwheeled. This triggered a collapse as the left-arm spin duo of Sandhu and Dar (2/45) ensured a procession of Indian batters.
India lost five wickets for the addition of 18 runs, as the batters were guilty of throwing away their wickets with Smriti, Mithali and Richa getting their shot selections wrong against tossed up deliveries. On the flipside, the collapse brought to the fore the temperament and talent of Sneh and Pooja. The two held their nerves amid the ruins to register a record 122-run seventh-wicket partnership.
The target was achievable, but the Indian bowlers kept chipping away at the opposition to put it beyond their reach. Rajeshwari dealt the first blow to Pakistan as Javeria Khan decided to have a go at the spinner but mistimed to Jhulan at mid-wicket. From there on, the vanquished lost wickets at regular intervals, with some of the players’ inexperience and inability to play spin weighing heavily on them.
Brief scores: India: 244/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 52, Deepti Sharma 40, Sneh Rana 53, Pooja Vastrakar 67; Nida Dar 2-45, Nashra Sandhu 2-36) bt Pakistan: 173 all out in 43 overs (Sidra Ameen 30; Jhulan Goswami 2-26, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 4-31, Sneh Rana 2-27).