Mithali Raj

Mithali scored 103 off 141 deliveries to guide her team past Pakistan in the seventh place play off of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 on Thursday at Cuttack © Getty Images

Cuttack: Feb 7, 2013

Indian skipper Mithali Raj took her side to a comfortable victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the seventh place play-off in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 at Cuttack on Thursday. An unbeaten knock from the skipper helped her side overcome the Pakistan total with ease as the home side end their run in the tournament on a high.

Mithali scored 103 off 141 deliveries, an innings laced with 13 boundaries and one six as she took her side past the Pakistan total. On the way, she built a few good partnerships to ensure Pakistan women don’t cause an upset. Pakistan worked hard for their four wickets but their failure to dismiss Mithali led to their defeat as their batswomen had put up a low total of 192.

Earlier, Indian bowlers kept a tight leash over Pakistan‘s scoring rate to restrict the arch-rivals to 192 for seven in the seventh-eighth position playoff match of the Women’s cricket World Cup.

The decision to bat first after winning the toss didn’t quite work for Pakistan, who were saved to a large extent due to the contrasting half-centuries from Nain Abidi (58) and Nida Dar (68 not out).

The Indians bowlers, led by the economical pace duo of Jhulan Goswami (two for 17) and Nagarajan Niranjana (three for 35), kept it tight for most part of the 50 overs.

The hosts, who were knocked out of the event after being stunned by minnows Sri Lanka in a must-win group match, were off to a perfect start when they sent back the Pakistani openers with just 28 runs on the board in 11 overs.

But Abidi steadied the rocking boat by forging a small 32-run partnership with Bimah Maroof (15). Then came the crucial 80-run stand with Dar, which brought Pakistan back into the match.

Dar was the more aggressive of the two batters, striking seven fours in her 83-ball knock.

Abidi faced 113 balls and struck five fours before being out caught by Thirush Kamini off Goswami’s bowling. After the settled partnership was broken, Pakistan could not accelerate in the closing stages faced with a disciplined Indian attack.

For India, Ekta Bisht also chipped in with a wicket even though she was tad expensive, conceding 50 runs in her nine overs.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 192 for 7 in 50 overs (Nida Dar 68*, Nain Abidi 58; Nagarajan Niranjana 3 for 35) lost to India 195 for 4 in 46 overs (Mithali Raj 103*,Thirush Kamini 26;Quanita Jalil 1 for 19, Nida Dar 1 for 34) by six wickets