World T20: Indian eves to face Pakistan

Providence: After a swashbuckling 103 runs from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and a sensational 134-run partnership stitched with batter Jemimah Rodrigues, India defeated formidable New Zealand in their opening fixture of the ongoing first standalone International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World T20.

With a power-packed 34 runs victory to prove that they can go all the way, the Indian women’s team will face arch-rivals Pakistan in its second group meeting here on Sunday.

India and Pakistan have faced each other 10 times with India winning eight encounters, while the neighbours winning the other two battles. Needing 14 runs in the last over, India lost by one run in 2012, while in a rain-hit match held in Delhi, the team lost by two runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method (DLS) method in 2016.

Given the reputation India has built with Harmanpreet’s form in becoming the first Indian to score a T20I ton, opener Smriti Mandhana went away cheaply for just 2 runs in the opening match. Mandhana’s performance and that of the bowling department, are the two areas to work on before going too deep into the tournament.

“From every win, we have to take our points out. The Powerplay – I don’t think we got the kind of start we expect our batters to give. Personally, I didn’t bat the way I do,” Mandhana said ahead of the big match against Pakistan.

“From the bowlers’ point of view, we could have restricted them below 150 [New Zealand scored 160/9 in reply to India’s 194/5] – that would have been great for us. Those are the things we’ll be working on in our next game,” she added.

The neighbours, on the other hand, in their opening campaign were stunned by Australia with a 52-run margin. The Pakistan batting faltered in the face of accurate bowling from Australia. Not a single batter except Bismah Maroof’s 26 runs, could score. Assisting with the ball, spinner Sana Mir’s off the mark (0/32 in 4 overs) was also another factor for Pakistan not being able to restrict Australia.

Following are the squads for both the sides:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, D Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy

Pakistan: Javeria Khan (C), Bismah Maroof, Aiman Anwer, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Ameen, Sidra Nawaz