Raj stars as India defeats Pakistan

ICC Women’s World T20

Mithali Raj on the go yesterday

Former Indian skipper, Mithali Raj scorched her 16th half century to see her side defeat Pakistan by seven wickets at Providence in the Women’s World T20 yesterday.

Playing under the blistering sun, India won the toss and sent their opposition in to bat and restricted them to 129-7 from their allotted overs. India responded with 134-3 with one over to spare.

The International Cricket Council tournament match began in a sensational manner as Ayesha Zafar chased an out-swinging delivery from Arundhati Reddy into the hands of Veda Krishnamurthy at first slip to end the first over.

Soon after, the Pakistan captain, Javeria Khan was dropped by Smriti Mandhana on one. Sharp fielding from Harmanpreet Kaur who executed a direct hit to the stumps sent Umaima Sohail packing.

Pakistan were brought back into the contest with a 93-run partnership from 71 balls between Bismah Mahroof and Nida Dar.

Pakistan brought up their 50 from 46 deliveries as Dar was given two lives after being dropped by Krishnamurthy and Poonam Yadav at long on and mid wicket on 15 and 30 respectively.

However, Kaur did not make the same mistake, holding on to a straightforward catch at cover for 48 laced with four fours and a pair of sixes.

Mahroof propelled herself to bring up her half century in 44 balls but was caught at long on by Krishnamurthy for 57 from 66 balls inclusive of five boundaries.

India capitalized in the last few overs, with leg break bowler, Yadav encouraging the batters to come down the track and having two of them stumped by Taniya Bhatia in the final over.

In reply, Raj and her deputy, Mandhana started their innings with 10 runs being awarded against Pakistan after two penalties for running on the pitch.

The two batswomen carried their team to 73 before Mandhana was caught at mid wicket for 26.

Jemimah Rodrigues looked fluent but was undone after Dar held on to a sharp return catch to which she responded with a pose reminiscent of Shahid Afridi.

Raj, India’s leading runscorer used her feet well and shuffled across to the pitch of the ball on her way to 56 which saw her half century coming up with a sweep that trickled into the boundary, one of seven before holding out to third man.

Kaur scored a century in the previous match to finish the game with a boundary.

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