With Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 63, India crushed their arch-rival Pakistan by 8 wickets at Edgbaston, Birmingham in the Group A clash between the two in Common Wealth Games 2022. Pakistan’s total of 99 runs was made fun of Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 63 off 42 balls. Mandhana’s power-packed innings boosted India’s chances for a semi-final birth by winning the game.
Earlier, Bismah Maroof won the toss and decided to bat first but the decision backfired them as they were bowled out for a pathetic 99 runs in 18 overs after rain delayed the start of the match. The match was delayed for 45 minutes with intermittent showers and the game was reduced to 18 overs a side. Indian bowlers choke the hitters in an effort to strike them out.
Muneeba Ali (32 of 30) and Bismah Maroof (17 of 19) tried to put on a good partnership in the beginning, but they just collapsed before 10 overs. Indian spinner Sneh Rana (2 for 15) struck twice in a single over controlling the middle overs. Radha Yadhav also picked two wickets for India while Renuka Singh, Meghna Singh, and Shafali Verma claimed a wicket each.
In return, the women in blue made a statement as they chased down the low target (100 runs) with more than 6 overs to spare. All credit goes to opener Smriti Mandhana as she bring down Pakistan with her chilling efficiency. Flaunting her range of strokes with 8 boundaries and 3 sixes, she just took away the game from the opposition to seal the victory. Shafali Verma was also started vigorously as the pair scored 50-plus runs in the powerplay. Verma fell but Mandhana continued her chasing that she scored her 3rd T20I half-century remaining unbeaten.
Pakistan needed wickets up top when India defending a low score, but that never happened. Diana Baig bowled well for a couple of overs in the beginning. Omaima Sohail, with her off-spinning skill, was more useful in the game and picked a wicket. Tuba Hassan too got a wicket but there were no positives with the ball after that.
This is the second time this year that an Indo-Pak contest failed to produce an astonishing game as India won very comfortably in both matches. With this win, team India’s net run rate will take a huge boost and India now stays in the second position in Group A with a win and a loss in the 2 matches. with 2 consecutive loses, Pakistan lost all their hope for the next round.
India women would have been very happy with their bowling, batting, and fielding efforts in the game as they are paving way for their Common Wealth dreams. They kept their semi-final hopes well and alive. By taking lessons from the 3-wicket defeat against Australia and 8-wicket win against Pakistan, Harmanpreet and the squad move ahead to their third group-stage game where they face Barbados on August 3rd, Wednesday at Birmingham.
Let’s wait and watch whether India continues the killing attitude in the next game to move forward to the next level or loses the game with Barbados to give away the chance to win the first-ever Common Wealth gold medal.
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