Skipper Mithali Raj finally came good with an unbeaten century as Indian women beat arch-rivals Pakistan by six wickets in a seventh place play-off encounter in the ICC Women’s World Cup in Cuttack onThursday.
Already out of contention after being hammered by Sri Lanka, the ‘Women in Blue’ came up with a much improved performance as they first restricted Pakistan to 192 for seven in 50 overs and then reached the target in 46 overs at the Barabati Stadium.
Skipper Mithali, who had been woefully out of form, helped herself back into form with an unbeaten 103 off 141 balls with the help of 13 boundaries and a six. The only regret she would have is that her best came when it mattered the least.
Mithali added 87 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Reema Malhotra, who remained undefeated on 25. The Indian women were in a spot of bother at 108 for
four but the Indian captain found an able ally in Malhotra as they comfortably won their last game of the tournament with consumate ease.
Mithali also enjoyed a couple of useful stands of 43 and 49 with opener Thirush Kamini (26) and Harmanpreet Kaur (16).
Earlier, the decision to bat first after winning the toss didn’t quite work for Pakistan, who were saved to a large extent due to the contrasting half-centuries from Nain Abidi (58) and Nida Dar (68 not out).
The Indians bowlers, led by the economical pace duo of Jhulan Goswami (2/17) and Nagarajan Niranjana (3/35), kept it tight for most part of the 50 overs.
Lanka eyeing title
MUMBAI: After shocking defending champions England in their opening match and knocking out hosts India, Sri Lanka are eyeing the coveted trophy. “It’s an open tournament now. Think we have enough chances to beat anyone... there is a possibility of going for the trophy,” Lankan player Siriwardene said.
Sri Lanka, who finished second in Group A, take on New Zealand, who are placed second in Group B, in the Super Six qualifiers. “We know what to expect when we play them. Done all homework,” a confident Siriwardene said.
England v Australia
Defending champions England will face arch-rivals Australia in what promises to be a mouth-watering battle of equals in the Super Six stage.
England, who are back to winning ways, would like to keep the momentum going, while Australia would seek to extend the clean sheet they have maintained so far, when the two sides fight tooth and nail at the Brabourne Stadium here.