Mithali: Pakistan batted and fielded better

Mithali refuted her team was under pressure playing in front of a big crowd – there were almost 7000 people in the stands (huge by women’s cricket standards). She, however, accepted that the opposition outplayed them on the day.

Mithali Raj felt her team's batswomen were stifled during the powerplay overs.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The disappointment of losing a rain-curtailed match at home was clear on captain Mithali Raj’s face after India went down to Pakistan by two runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method. But despite the seemingly close encounter, she admitted the host had lost the game much earlier.

“The six overs (of Powerplay) the way we batted and fielded were very crucial in a low scoring match. We got stuck (while batting), and gave away too many runs while bowling,” a dejected Mithali said after the match. She also added that the result could have been different had the full quota of overs were played.

Mithali refuted her team was under pressure playing in front of a big crowd – there were almost 7000 people in the stands (huge by women’s cricket standards). She, however, accepted that the opposition outplayed them on the day. “They were very disciplined in their bowling and it was backed by very good fielding. In the first ten overs, we hardly got any boundaries. Whereas we were everywhere, we could not bowl in one area. As a team, we just didn’t play as expected,” she said.

Pakistan skipper Sana Mir, on her part, was elated with her team’s performance. “We had planned to make full use of the Powerplay and try and bat full 20 overs and I am glad it worked. This was perhaps the second biggest audience in my career and it is always great to play in front of such a crowd,” she said.

While India would have to try and regroup for its next game against England, Pakistan has a relatively easy opponent in Bangladesh.