Asia Cup T20, Match no 7 – India vs Pakistan, the mother of all matches, the match of the tournament.
With a lot of speculations whether the match will happen or not. The match did happen. And what a match it turned out to be. The match went till the last over.
Harmanpreet won the toss & put Pakistan Women in to bat first.
Jhulan Goswami & Ekta Bisht were brought back into the team after they were rested against Thailand. And Ekta proved her worth in her very 1st over, when she was brought into the attack in place of Shikha Pandey, who gave 9 runs in her 1st over. Ekta’s 1st victim was the in-form Javeria Khan who had scored a half century against Srilanka, this time could score just 7 off 8 balls (1×4). Pakistan women were 22 for 1 off 3.4 overs.
Ayesha Zafar was scoring well & would have expected the next batter Captain Bismah’s support. But that wasn’t to be, as she fell prey to Anuja Patil for just 2 runs. Anuja soon picked her 2nd wicket too, when she got Ayesha Zafar stumped for 28 off 36 balls. Pakistan on back foot now, 44 for 3 off 10.3 overs.
Nain Abidi & Irma Javed then put together 19 runs of 18 balls till Harmanpreet picked the later for 10 off 9 (1×6). Pakistan was 63 for 4 in 13.3 overs.
Pakistan found it difficult to score runs from there & lost 3 more wickets in succession for just 24 runs. Pakistan now 87 for 7, in 18.5 overs; desperately looking for quick runs.
The last 7 balls brought 10 runs, & Pakistan completed their 20 overs with 97 for 7 wickets.
Sidra Nawaz remained not out on 2 along with Nain Abidi who interestingly scored 37 off 41 balls without any 4 or 6.
It seems like India has found the right opening pair for T20’s in the form of experienced Mithali Raj & youngster Smriti Mandhana, who together put a partnership of 27 runs, till the later was caught by Sana Mir off Sadia Yousuf for almost run a ball 14 off 16.
Meghana then partnered with Mithali & contributed 8 runs of 8 balls (1×4), in a 20 run partnership, before she was LBW to Nida Dar. Nida again struck in her next over, to pick Veda Krishnamurthy, the player of the match from her previous match against Thailand, for just 2. India now 51 for 3 off 12.1 overs and the condition looked pretty similar to Pakistan innings.
With 21 needed off 24 balls, the match was very much in favor of India as the T20 Captain Harmanpreet & ODI Captain Mithali were on the pitch.
Pakistan had no chance of winning the match, unless they can take out any of these ladies at the earliest. And take out they did, Sana Mir took a return catch of Mithali who was on 36 off 57 (3×4). But was it a little too late? The pair together contributed another 26 runs.
Harmanpreet then took the onus and took major of the strike. India lost 1 more wicket on 89, that of Jhulan Goswami, but Harmanpreet assured the victory for India in the 20th over with the support of Anuja Patil.
India wins the match by 5 wickets with 4 balls to spare.
Harmanpreet with yet another Captains innings receives the Player of the Match for her 2 wickets & an aggressive 26 off 22 (1×4).
While India with 3 wins out of 3 are sitting comfortably on 6 points, Pakistan face the 1st loss of the tournament are on the 2nd position with 4 points, with 2 wins out of 3.
If both these teams do not lose any more matches, this match will be re-played, but then it will be for the title in the Finals!