India beat Pakistan by seven wickets in Women’s T20 World Cup© AFP
Young India wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh provided the fireworks in the 18th over as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by seven wickets in their opening Group B match of the Women’s T20 World Cup on Sunday. Ghosh slammed three boundaries in a productive 18th over, sent down by Aiman Anwer, to change the complexion of the game, just when it seemed it was getting tight for India. Ghosh, unbeaten on 31, and her partner Jemimah Rodrigues, who scored a 38-ball unbeaten 53, were the main architects of India’s win after they were set a target of 150 to win the contest.
Earlier, Bismah Maroof’s unbeaten 68 and a blazing 43 not out from Ayesha Naseem helped Pakistan post a challenging 149 for four.
Radha Yadav was the most successful India bowler returning with figures of 2 for 21 in her four overs.
Deepti Sharma got India the first break when Javeria Khan (8) went for a sweep only to hand a top edge to Harmanpreet Kaur.
Radha got rid of the other dangerous opener Muneeba Ali for 12 to reduce Pakistan to 42/2. The India spinner saw the Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter coming down the track and fired an arm ball outside off. Muneeba swiped but missed and Richa Ghosh whipped the bails off.
However, Bismah and Ayesha stitched together an 81-run partnership, with the latter’s 43 coming off just 25 balls at a strike rate of 172.
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