Jemimah Rodrigues’ comeback Fifty guides India to 7 Wicket Win against Pakistan

In a battle of cross-border rivals that was always going to be a high-voltage contest, India defeated Pakistan in what was a scintillating run chase at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first in what was a belter of a batting wicket.

Jemimah Rodrigues' comeback Fifty guides India to 7 Wicket Win against Pakistan . PC: Getty Images
Jemimah Rodrigues’ comeback Fifty guides India to 7 Wicket Win against Pakistan . PC: Getty Images

The opening duo of Muneeba Ali and Javeria Khan gave a brisk start to Pakistan, but losing the latter for 8 was not ideal, and it was Deepti Sharma was the one who got India the crucial breakthrough. Skipper Bismah Maroof joined Muneeba Ali, and the duo batted with a lot of precision and finesse as Pakistan scored at a healthy rate giving nothing away. As Ali was dismissed by Radha Yadav, the onus of scoring fell on the skipper and the new batter Nida Dar.

In a surprising turn of events, the dangerous Nida Dar was dismissed by Pooja Vastrakar for a two-ball duck. With Sidra Ameen also getting dismissed for a dismal 11, both Maroof and Ayesha Naseem took the mantle of scoring at a good rate to help Pakistan pose a big total. Maroof, with her brilliant 68* off 55, and Ayesha Naseem, with her 43* off 25, ensured that Pakistan posted a competitive 149/4 in 20 overs and butchered the Indian bowlers in the death, exposing their frailties. Radha Yadav, although had a tough time in the field, was the pick of the bowlers, scalping two wickets, and both Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar chipped in with a wicket, respectively, to restrict Pakistan.

India was already missing the services of their star batter, Smriti Mandhana, but to keep the right-left batting combination going meant Yastika Bhatia and Shafali Verma opened the proceedings for Team India. Yastika was the first wicket to fall for Team India as she was dismissed for an indifferent 17 off 20, but Shafali Verma, who took time to settle in, eventually came into her own as she scored a handy 33 off 25 before getting dismissed by Nashra Sundhu.

Jemimah Rodrigues batted with a lot of clarity and was the anchor even as wickets around her fell. One such quick wicket was Harmanpreet Kaur, whose brisk 16 off 12 was brought to an end by Sandhu, who was supreme with the ball. Although there was scoreboard pressure, eventually, a brilliant and unbeaten 53 off 38 by Jemimah, who was also adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’, and a cameo of 31 off 20 by Richa Ghosh, ensured India was on the winning side, chasing the total in 19 overs for the loss of just three wickets. Besides Sundhu and Iqbal, most of the Pakistani bowling was rendered ineffective against the might of the Indian batting.

Brief Scores: PAK- 149/4 in 20 overs (B Maroof 68*, A Naseem 43*; R Yadav 2/21, P Vastrakar 1/30) lost to IND- 151/3 in 19 overs (J Rodrigues 53*, S Verma 33, R Ghosh 31*; N Sundhu 2/15, S Iqbal 1/25) by 7 wickcts and 6 balls to spare

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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