India women began their campaign at the ICC Women’s World T20 in comfortable fashion with a 34-run win over New Zealand on Friday (November 9). In a show that starred Harmanpreet Kaur scoring 103 from 51 balls to become India’s first T20I century scoring batswoman while also getting to the mark as the third quickest, India made light of the Kiwis. The next team on the schedule are Pakistan who were woefully short of Australia, losing by 52 runs. (ICC Women’s World T20 Points Table)
With skipper Harmanpreet scoring the bulk of the runs and the bowlers doing their job in controlling the flow of the runs in defence, India have few issues to be concerned about. If at all, the biggest concern would be how best to bring in veteran Mithali Raj into the plans. Mithali opened the innings for India in the two warm up games against England and Windies scoring 18 and 0 respectively. The team management went with a different plan against New Zealand with Taniya Bhatiya opening alongside Smriti Mandhana and Mithali dropping to as low as No. 8 and not getting an opportunity to bat before the close of the overs with India amassing 194/5.
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India and Pakistan women have played each other 10 times with India winning eight times and Pakistan winning on the other two occasions. Five of them have been at a World T20 event where India won three games.
Pakistan women came into the tournament on the back of a convincing win over South Africa and then edging Bangladesh in a low scoring contest. Against Australia, Pakistan were in for a tough time with the Aussies 108/2 after 14 overs. But Pakistan bowlers and fielders produced a strong fightback to pick wickets in the fag end of the innings.
In reply, Pakistan women were never really into the contest going 31/3 in the sixth over and 78/7 by the 14th over. Lack of big hitters for Pakistan will make a difference against India who have plenty of big hitting players at their disposal – including Jemimah Rodrigues who scored 59 against the Kiwis.
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy
Pakistan squad: Aiman Anwer, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Ameen, Sidra Nawaz, Bismah Maroof