Harmanpreet Kaur Bismah Maroof India Pakistan Women Asia Cup T20 2018 Mithali Raj Jhulan Goswami Smriti Mandhana Sana Mir Nida Dar
Harmanpreet Kaur (left) and Bismah Maroof © Getty Images

Comfortably placed atop the points table, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will lock horns in a virtual semi-final clash of the women’s Asia Cup at the Kinrara Academy Oval here on Saturday. With 6 points apiece, India and Pakistan occupy the top two spots in the table, with a superior net run rate separating the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side from Bismah Maroof‘s girls. However, they are also tied with Bangladesh on points, who are almost certain to go through to the final as they play bottom-ranked hosts Malaysia.

Aiming their seventh straight title, India will hope they can continue their all-round form and beat Pakistan before reaching the final. The big win over Sri Lanka on Thursday will boost the confidence of Harman’s side, especially after the shocking defeat to Bangladesh. Pakistan, on the other end, will hope to pick up a win over the tournament favourites, even as they try to overcome the humiliation at the hands of the Bangladeshis. Saturday’s clash will be yet again a test between the Indian batters and the Pakistani bowlers.

Besides Harman, India’s batting will revolve mainly around the likes of vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy and Pooja Vastrakar. The bowling department will be spearheaded by veteran Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey even as the spin trio of Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav are expected to contribute.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will expect skipper and star all-rounder Maroof to deliver the goods along with the likes of Sana Mir, Nida Dar, Muneeba Ali and Nahida Khan.

2018 Women’s Asia Cup T20 Points Table
Team M W P NRR Last match against
India 4 3 6 2.709 Pakistan
Pakistan 4 3 6 2.602 India
Bangladesh 4 3 6 0.454 Malaysia
Sri Lanka 4 2 4 1.134 Thailand
Thailand 4 1 2 -1.330 Sri Lanka
Malaysia 4 0 0 -5.784 Bangladesh

India Women squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Anuja Patil, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav.

Pakistan Women squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Sidra Nawaz (wk), Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Javeria Rauf, Nain Abidi, Javeria Khan, Nida Dar, Kainat Imtiaz, Sana Mir, Nashra Sandhu, Anam Amin, Natalia Pervaiz, Diana Baig.