Veda Krishnamurthy finished the game with a four. Two wins in a row, what a better start could we ask for. On the other hand it’s the second successive defeat for Pakistan and they need to win all their coming matches and expect some good things to happen for them if they want to qualify for semi-finals. Surely a match against arch-rivals Pakistan puts a lot of pressure on the team, especially the pressure of expectation from the entire nation to win and our girls did stand on that expectation today. India walked in the match today as favorites’ and walked out of it as one too.
Electing to ball, India restricted Pakistan at 133-7 in 20 overs. Things didn’t change for Pakistani openers as they failed to deliver yet again. Ayesha Zafar and Omaima Sohail were a no show in both the matches. Ayesha lost her wicket in the very first over to Reddy and Omaima’s run out was a pure class fielding effort from Jemi. However, unlike last match this time the team didn’t tumble and fall but rose back and performed. A calm and composed 53 runs came from Maroof’s bat whereas a stormy and quick 52 runs came from Nida Dar’s. Maroof came to bat when Pakistan was at 10-2 and took the opportunity to hit a big score and help the team put a defendable total on board with her 53 runs in 49 balls with four boundaries . On the other end was Nida Dar who spared no bowler and hit a quick 52 runs in 35 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. With these two on ground firing runs from their bat, 150 runs looked more than possible but it was in 18th over when Hemalatha walked in with the ball and took Maroof’s wicket on the very first ball and Dar’s on the third ball and changed the game.
Raj who wasn’t even required to bat in the last match, was asked to open the innings today along with Smriti. Their partnership of 73 runs for 1st wicket gave India a good start. It was in the 9th over when Smriti lost her wicket after scoring 26 runs to Maroof. And in came the unsung hero of last match Jemimah Rodrigues, who couldn’t score big today and lost her wicket to Dar. India wasn’t far to win by then and with Mithali’s present on field, defeat looked impossible. Her 56 runs in 47 balls with seven boundaries made her the player of the match. Although, it was Veda who hit the winning run today. Except for Dar and Maroof the only bowler who bagged a wicket was Diana Baig.
Things to improve coming forward:
For India :
A few catches were dropped by the Indian side today which luckily didn’t cost much but if the same display of fielding goes on, it will surely do some damages coming forward.
For Pakistan :
In both the matches the opening pair failed to perform and give a right start to the team. Also, bowlers were unable to take early wickets which caused them both the matches. The team needs to discuss and find a solution if they want to qualify for semis.
Harmanpreet Kaur – We bowled well in patches, but disappointed with the fielding, we need to improve a lot. It’s important to bat and bowl well in the first 6 overs – we had some plans, I thought we did well with the ball today. Mithali is a key player for us, we have to use her in a smart way. They have a good spin attack and she is our best batter against spin. In high intensity games, her experience was vital as well. We told her (Smriti) to spend some time at the wicket, she has been playing well in recent times, but was going hard at the ball. A long way to go, still need to work hard at the nets, but we are on the right track at the moment, need to repeat the good things which we are doing.
Javeria Khan – We have been working hard on our shot selection during powerplays, we are giving confidence to the girls and we are glad that it’s beginning to show. We were told to play fearless cricket, we were able to build a partnership despite losing few early wickets, I am glad that we managed to get a total on the board and we had a partnership, both (Maroof and Nida Dar) played really well. These two have proven to the girls and everyone tried their best to do well for the team. Hopefully, we will learn from this going ahead and other stand up and perform. I had a chat with the umpires, they told me that are players were warned thrice and then the runs were docked. it was unprofessional on our part, after being warned we still trodded on the danger area, it’s something we need to work on, it hasn’t happened for the first time, it happened previously during the Sri Lanka series as well. Our bowling effort was a bit disappointing despite being 10 runs short. It could have been a bit better, we took them until the 19th over, but we could have planned it better, if we had executed are plans, we might still have beaten them. Really happy with the way we have played, it’s not the results which matter, it’s how we play, we shouldn’t worry too much about the results. I am happy if the young girls get inspired by watching us play, my message to the young girls is to play well in any sport that they choose.
Mithali Raj, player of the match – I only remember what happened last week, not last year ( on asked about the name of the author of the book she was reading last year at the world cup). By default, all my years, I have been in the middle. I enjoy batting and no matter where I bat, I will be happy to bat. Chasing puts a little pressure, but no matter what the challenge is, I always enjoy. I see there is no doubt that we will get to the semis, but as we go forward, will be playing strong teams, so we will have to bring A game every match.
India won by 7 wickets
Pakistan 133-7 in 20 overs ( Maroof 53 runs, Nida Dar 52 runs, Javeria Khan 17 runs; Poonam Yadav 2/22)
India 137-3 in 19 overs (Mithali Raj 56 runs, Mandhana 26 runs, Jemimah Rodrigues 16 runs; Nida Dar 1/17)