Women's Asia Cup T20: India defeats Pakistan

Harmanpreet Kaur contributed with both bat and ball as India defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the women's Asia Cup T20.

India's captain Harmanpreet Kaur (first from left) took two wickets and scored 26 off 22 balls to take India home.   -  Akhilesh Kumar (File Photo)

India's captain Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front with an all-round show as India defeated Pakistan by five wickets to remain the sole unbeaten team in the Women’s Asia Cup T20 tournament, here on Tuesday. Kaur bagged two crucial wickets, helping India restrict Pakistan to 97 for seven in 20 overs, before taking her team over the line with an unbeaten 26 off 22 balls.

She was batting alongside Anuja Patil (2 not out) when India overcame the target with four balls to spare.

Mithali Raj’s knock of 36 off 57 balls at the top of the order was also of high value and so were the three wickets from left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht.

There was uncertainty surrounding the tie between the sides considering the escalated tensions at the India-Pakistan border. Earlier this month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had docked India six points for not playing Pakistan between August 1 to October 31 as per the ICC Women’s Championship.

Top of the table

As it turned out, India took the field in the keenly followed clash and avenged its narrow defeat in the World T20 at home in March. The win was also India’s third in as many games. It now sits on the top of the table with six points followed by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The other teams in the competition are Bangladesh, Thailand and Nepal.

India was in control for much of the contest after it won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat. It took wickets at regular intervals, not allowing Pakistan to build any significant partnership. The Pakistan batting line-up put up an ordinary effort barring opener Ayesha Zafar (28) and Iram Javed, who remained unbeaten on 37 off 41 balls.

India made a cautious start to the chase and by the 11th over it had seen the back of opener Smriti Mandhana (14) and No. 3 Sabbhineni Meghana (8). The experienced Mithali held the innings together with a fighting knock before Harmanpreet took over from her and got the job done.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 97 for 7 in 20 overs (Iram Javed 37 not out; Ekta Bisht 3 for 20, Harmanpreet Kaur 2 for 16) lost to India 98 for 5 in 19.2 overs (Mithali Raj 36, Harmanpreet Kaur 26 not out; Dar 2 for 11).