Jemimah Rodrigues captains India to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the women’s T20 World Cup
In the opening Women’s T20 World Cup game, Jemimah Rodrigues’ unbeaten 53 from 38 balls helped India defeat rival Pakistan by seven wickets.
Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh contributed 58 runs for the fourth wicket in the 150-run chase to help India win.
India needed 28 from the final three overs, thus Pakistan was hoping for a surprise victory.
However, as time ran out and India completed their goal with one over remaining, their bowlers battled to maintain control.
A fun partnership of 81 runs from 47 balls between captain Bismah Maroof, who scored an unbeaten 68, and 18-year-old Ayesha Naseem, who hit an unbeaten 43 from 25 balls, helped Pakistan to the excellent total of 149-4.
Favorites India struggled in the field, especially when Naseem put them under pressure and caused him to be dropped twice on 35 and 36.
Despite a lackluster performance in the field, India got off to a strong start in their chase. Under-19 World Cup champion Shafali Verma scored 33 runs off 25 balls before Sidra Ameen expertly caught her on the long-off boundary.
When skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was dismissed for 16 with India leading 93-3, momentum changed in favor of a shocking Pakistan victory.
However, the 19-year-old Ghosh hit three fours in the 18th over, and then Rodrigues hit three more in the penultimate over to seal a comfortable victory.
As it happened, young stars light up Newlands as India maintains composure to defeat Pakistan.
India may appear to have had an easy victory after completing the score they were chasing with an over and seven wickets remaining, but Pakistan will regret the sloppy bowling that cost them in the final two overs when they were under pressure.
Pakistan’s aggressive batting style caught India off guard, as evidenced by their body language in the last overs of the first innings, when 33 runs were scored from the final three overs, leaving India’s fielders standing in shock with their hands on their hips.
While Bismah served as the innings’ foundation, it was Naseem’s recklessness that enthralled the fans as she smacked the day’s only two sixes into the crowd.
As India’s renowned opener Smriti Mandhana was out with a finger injury and Harmanpreet made just 16, young talent also shone in India’s innings.
India got off to a strong start with to Shafali, 19, while Rodrigues, 22, and Ghosh, 19, expertly timed their innings to lead their team to victory.
However, controversy was gratefully avoided after umpire Jackie Williams’ error resulted in seven balls being bowled in the seventh over, with the extra ball going for four, and things could have been far more dramatic had the game gone down to the last ball.
Reaction: “Playing Pakistan is always special.”
Jemimah Rodrigues won player of the game “I haven’t scored in a very long time, so this innings is very important to me. I want to dedicate this to my parents who are present now since they have always supported me.
“Instead of considering the big picture, we simply established over-by-over targets. We were confident that if we stayed until the end, we could succeed. A loose ball would always exist, and we have to punish it.”
Captain Bismah Maroof of Pakistan: “Even though we were constantly in the game, they had a strong finish. In the bowling unit, we erred. We can use a lot of the lessons we learned in this game to the next one.”
Captain of India Harmanpreet Kaur: “Every game is significant, but Pakistan is always exceptional, certainly. The crowd was amazing, and the game was good.
“Pakistan played excellent batting, but we still wanted to win. Jemimah and Richa both batted wisely, and they played very well together.”