Nagarajan Niranjana

Nagarajan Niranjana picked up three wickets in the match against Pakistan at Cuttack © Getty Images

Cuttack: Feb 7, 2013

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) vs India