Mithali Raj scored her highest individual score in T20Is    Getty Images
Mithali Raj scored her highest individual score in T20Is Getty Images

Veteran Mithali Raj played a resounding 73, as she guided India Women to 121 for 5 in the final match of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Women s Asia Cup T20 2016, against Pakistan at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground, Bangkok. While India kept losing wickets at regular intervals, Mithali stood rock solid, using all her experience and stretching the total to 122 for the bowlers to defend. India, who have bundled out Pakistan within 100 earlier in the tournament, have the upper hand now and will look to replicate the same to defend the title.

India Women won the toss and elected to bat. Mithali, along with regular opener Smriti Mandhana, opened the batting for India, while Asmavia Islam opened the bowling for Pakistan. Asmavia s over turned out to be quite expensive, as she bowled 5 wides, leaking 10 runs off the over. However, they made a brilliant comeback with Sana Mir and Anam Amin bowling well in tandem. Mithali looked comfortable at the crease right from the word go. Smriti Mandhana, however, struggled to time the ball with ease. She eventually fell for 6, as Asmavia took a brilliant catch running backwards.

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Mithali hardly found any support from the other end. However, it was Sabbhieni Meghana, who spent the maximum time at the crease with Mithal, to keep the scoreboard ticking. Though she scored 9 runs before departing, the two looked in great synchronisation as she kept rotating the strike and kept the singles coming. Mithali reached her 50 off 42 balls. Nonetheless, captain Harmanpreet Kaur also could not make much of a difference, getting bowled for 5.

Mithali went past her highest T20I score of 67, remaining unbeaten on 73. Jhulan Goswami made some crucial contributions down the order, playing a knock of 17 runs off 10 deliveries with the help of two sixes.

Pakistan s bowling was decent. Anam Amin was the most successful pocketing 2 wickets, while Sana Mir and Sadia Yousuf picked up a wicket each. All the same, the fielding was praiseworthy as they did not give away easy runs.

Brief scores:

India Women 121 for 5 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 73*, Jhulan Goswami 17; Anam Amin 2 for 24, Sadia Yousuf 1 for 15) vs Pakistan Women