Mithali Raj failed to deliver against Pakistan with the bat © Getty Images (File photo)
Mithali Raj failed to deliver against Pakistan with the bat © Getty Images (File photo)

An excellent bowling effort from Pakistan restricted India at 96 for 7 in 20 overs during their Group B match of ICC Women’s World T20 2016 at Delhi on Saturday. Barring Bismah Maroof, all the other Pakistani bowlers—Anam Ami, Sana Mir, Asmavia Iqbal, Sadia Yousuf and Nida Dar—picked a wicket each. India’s Veda Krishnamurthy top-scored with her knock of 24 off 19 balls and her inning was inclusive of three boundaries. The span which saw her at crease probably was the only exciting moments for India in their 20 overs. A total of three Indian batters were dismissed for single digits. Live Cricket Score, India Women vs Pakistan Women, Women’s T20 World Cup 2016, IND W vs PAK W, Match 7 Group B at Delhi

Pakistan’s Anam Ami who bagged four wickets in the previous match against Bangladesh once again was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan on Saturday against India in the first innings. She drew the first blood when she dismissed Indian opener Vanitha VR in the 3rd over. An excellent short delivery from Anam, in reply Vanitha came down the track to hit it big but only managed the fielder at mid-wicket where Pakistan skipper Sana Mir completed an easy catch. The opening batsman only managed to contribute two runs, facing seven deliveries.

The next breakthrough was made by medium pacer, Asmavia Iqbal when she sent back India’s one-down batter Smriti Mandhana in the very next over. That wicket left India struggling at 5 for 2 in 3.3 overs. As Anam was consistently putting pressure on the Indians from one end, Asmavia came in handy as well as she gave away only 5 runs off four overs and also picked a wicket. Asmavia went straight on the middle stump, the batter clearly missed it and was hit in front of the middle stump. The umpire was in no doubt while raising his finger. Smriti’s bad patch continues as she was out for a duck in the first World T20 2016 match against Bangladesh.

However, it was off-break spinner, Nida Dar who bagged the big fish when she dismissed the Indian captain Mithali Raj in the 12th over. Mithali was seen struggling from the very beginning of the innings, having hit only one boundary in her knock of 16 from 35 balls. Mithali had opened the boundary account for India in the eighth over when she took on Sadia Yousuf. Mithali went down the pitch and drove it over the covers. Until her dismissal, India had just two boundaries on board with the other one came from Harmanpreet Kaur’s bat.

Harmanpreet also was sent back three overs later, just when the middle-order batter seemed like to be getting her touch with the bat. Harmanpreet who was the player of the match in the previous game for her cameo of 29-ball 40, faced the same number of deliveries on Saturday but could manage only 16 runs. These numbers showed the amount of pressure the opposition put on the Indians and had managed to be consistent with it throughout the innings. It was Sada Yousuf this time with the breakthrough for Pakistan. While trying to go big, Harmapreet failed to connect it and was caught at long off by Sidra Ameen. That wicket left India at 49 for 4.

The Indians still hoped for a decent total until Veda Krishnamurthy was at crease. After Harmanpreet’s dismissal, Veda began to go after the bowlers, smashing three boundaries in the next six balls she had faced. However, Pakistani skipper Sana Mir ensured Pakistan did not lose momentum as she dismissed Veda in the 17th over.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first. While India won their opening match of World T20 against Bangladesh, Pakistan are coming off a defeat against West Indies.

Brief scores:

India 97 for 7 in 20 overs (Veda Krishnamurthy 24; Anam Ami 1 for 9) vs Pakistan.

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)