India defeated Pakistan by 107 runs after a record stand by Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana overcame a mid-innings slump in their Women’s Cricket World Cup clash at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
The first clash between the Asian rivals since India’s victory in the 2017 World Cup ended with Pakistan all out in the 43rd over for 137 in reply to India’s 244-7.
Pakistan sensed they had the upper hand when they had India 114-6 in the 34th over.
But Vastrakar and Rana rescued the innings with a World Cup record seventh-wicket stand of 122 to get the score up to 244.
Vastrakar, the player of the match, belted 67 off 59 deliveries before she was bowled by Fatima Sana at the start of the final over while Rana was unbeaten on 53 off 48.
While it was a comprehensive victory for India, captain Mithali Raj said there was plenty to work on if they were to make the playoffs.
“A very important partnership there between Pooja and Sneh brought us to the total we put on the board, but that is something we would like to address, because when you start playing the tournament, it’s important that your top order scores runs,” she said.
At the top of the order for India, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma contributed 52 and 40 respectively and, along with Vastrakar and Rana, the quartet provided all but 32 of their total.
Pakistan did not help their cause by giving away 11 extras including three in a nine-ball over from Fatima Sana that included two wides and a no ball.
While the required run rate was under five an over, Pakistan fell off the pace from the start and after seven overs had only eight runs on the board.
At the halfway stage, they were 78 for five, compared to India’s 100 for three, and struggling to cope with the spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and the superb glovework of 18-year-old Richa Ghosh behind the stumps.
The veteran left-armer Gayakwad took four for 31 off her 10 overs while teenager Ghosh had a hand in five dismissals with four catches and a stumping.