Women's Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan clinches maiden T20I win over India since 2016; netizens shocked
India succumbed to a 13-run loss to Pakistan in the Women's Asia Cup 2022 on Friday. It was India's first tournament defeat, while it was Pakistan's maiden T20I win over the side since 2016, as netizens were left stunned.
Indian batters botched poorly in a brief chase, as Pakistan documented its maiden win over the arch-rivals in six years with a 13-run conquest in the 2022 Women's Asia Cup at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Friday. India, the most challenging team in Asia, put on a poor batting show to get skittled for 124 in 19.4 overs after Pakistan posted a middling 137/6. Pakistan scripted a striking turnabout less than 24 hours following its astonishing upset over Thailand. At 65/5, India was in trouble, with most of its batters, including star player Smriti Mandhana (17 off 19), throwing their wickets away.
Before this tie, India enjoyed a comfortable 10-2 record over Pakistan, whose previous victory over the arch-rivals was back during the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup in New Delhi. Pooja Vastrakar was run out after risking a run off a misfield, while Dayalan Hemalatha (20 off 22) let her team down after failing to capitalise on a good start.
Questions were raised over skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's fitness, coming into bat at number seven before parting cheaply. "I think we were trying to give other batters a chance in the middle. That cost us today. It was a chasable target. We could not rotate the strike in the middle overs," she quoted after the contest.
With India requiring 61 off the final six overs, Pakistan was the favourites to pull off an unpredictable win. Richa Ghosh (26 off 13) was taken off the field in Pakistan's innings after suffering a heat stroke. However, she brought India back into it with three sixes against the spinners before getting caught in the deep in the 19th over. Her ouster virtually ended India's expectancies.
Earlier, Pakistan, surprised by Thailand on Thursday, put in an improved batting show against the Indians but still seemed below par. Nida Dar (unbeaten 56 off 37) and skipper Bismah Maroof (32 off 35) shared a vital 76-run partnership off 58 deliveries to give the innings a much-needed move.
Dar was the pick of the Pakistani batters, using her paws pleasingly, particularly against the spinners, to get the big shots. Off-spinner Deepti Sharma (3/27) stood out among India's bowlers with the best figures, not afraid to give some curl to the ball, helping her dupe Pakistan opener Muneeba Ali (17), resulting in getting stumped.
Omaima Sohil fell a couple of balls later, as she was trapped leg-before while endeavouring a sweep. Bismah was lucky on eight, with the umpire turning down Rajeshwari Gayakwad's appeal in an apparent lbw dismissal. Pakistan reached 61/3 in 10 overs. Dar then gave the innings some swiftness, stepping out to smash Hemalatha for a four and straight six in a 15-run over. The Indian fielding was found wanting more than an instance, with substitute Shafali Verma missing an easy stumping chance.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 137/6 in 20 overs (Nidar Dar 56*, Bismah Maroof 32; Deepti Sharma 3/27) defeated India 124 in 19/4 overs (Richa Ghosh 26; Nida 2/32) by 13 runs.
(With inputs from PTI)