India ease to win after Mithali Raj fifty

ICC Women

Mithali Raj scored a gritty 56

Former Indian skipper, Mithali Raj scorched her 16th half century to see her side defeat Pakistan by seven wickets at Providence in the Women's World T20 yesterday.

It was not enough to set up victory, however, and with Pakistan also beaten in their opening match, against Australia, they face a struggle to qualify from Group B. They have an opportunity to notch a first win against Ireland on Tuesday but, it seems, whatever the game throws at her and her team, Maroof will be ready.

With four points, the three-time champions top Group B with a better run rate over India.

India, having won both the games they've played thus far have made a strong contention for themselves to make it into the semi-finals. The incident happened when India and Pakistan Women players lined up for their respective national anthems.

Pakistan were soon reduced to 30-3 but India spilled five chances and Bismah Maroof (53) and Nida Dar (52) put on 93 within 12 overs to help them to 133-7. Their efforts were dented though as 10 penalty runs were awarded to India due to the Pakistan batters running on the pitch twice after being officially warned by the umpires.

Mithali Raj top scored with 56 runs while Smriti Mandhana played a decent inning of 26 runs.

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India captain Harmanpreet Kaur praised stalwart Mithali Raj - who opened the innings and played a match winning knock of 56 off 47 balls - calling her a key component of the team going forward.

Veda dropped Nida Dar while on 15 in the 11th over.

Pakistan were still not out of the woods as they could only reach 53 for 3 at the half-way stage but the sloppy Indian fielding allowed their two batswomen Dar and Maroof to gain in confidence.

On a different note, India emerged victorious over Pakistan by 7 runs in the encounter. Poonam Yadav (2 for 22) took two wickets in the final over of the innings to finish the pick of the bowlers.

The first five-run punishment was enforced in the 18th over and, after Dar reached her maiden worldwide T20 half century with a six when the fielder stepped on the rope at deep mid-wicket boundary, she was caught at extra cover next ball.

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