Women’s Asia Cup T20 Final: IND beat PAK by 17 runs

December 4, 2016 | By

Mithali Raj’s magnificent unbeaten 73 and wonderful bowling from Jhulan Goswami (1/19) and Ekta Bisht (2/22) helped the Indian women’s team to a 17-run win over Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup T20 tournament in Bangkok.


In the process, the Indian women’s team successfully defended their Asia Cup title which they won in 2012 in Guangzhou and extended their unbeaten streak against Pakistan in the tournament to 4-0.


Indian women’s team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and chose to bat in slightly overcast conditions. Pakistan started off poorly as Asmavia Iqbal conceded five wides in the first over.


Mithali prospered a pitch which was not conducive for stroke-making, while the rest of the Indian batting floundered.


Smriti Mandhana (6), Sabbhineni Meghana (9) and Veda Krishnamurthy (2) all departed cheaply but Mithali remained firm. She launched Pakistan off-spinner Nida Dar for a boundary and a big six as she notched up her 10th Twenty20 International fifty.


Mithali got good company from Jhulan Goswami as India pushed their total towards 120. Goswami slammed two sixes off Dar and Sana Mir as India reached 121/5, their highest total in nine Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.


Chasing 122, Ayesha Zafar and Javeria Khan started off positively as Pakistan raced to 19/0 from three overs. However, Goswami once again made the difference, this time with ball. She bowled Zafar for 14 when the player attempted a cross-batted slog. This wicket was Goswami’s 50th in T20Is.


With Zafar’s departure, Pakistan lost momentum and Shikha Pandey capitalised on that when she bowled Asmavia Iqbal for 1. Bisma Maroof kept the Pakistan women’s team in the hunt with a couple of boundaries off Pandey but some disciplined bowling from Ekta Bisht and Preeti Bose increased the pressure.


From the eighth over till the 12th, no boundaries were scored. In this period, India consolidated their grip on the match. Bisht sent back Javeria Khan for 22 as the asking rate mounted. When Anuja Patil caught and bowled Maroof for 25, India sensed victory.


With 40 needed off 24 balls, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur sealed Pakistan’s fate as she gave away just one run in her over. Bisht gave away just seven runs in the 18th over while Goswami held her nerve to concede just seven runs, which meant Pakistan needed 25 off the last over.


Harmanpreet calmly closed out the match as Pakistan fell short by 17 runs.


Speaking after the end of the match, the Indian skipper said bowling well in the middle overs were crucial.

“We knew it’s a turning track. We set a decent total for us and we bowled really well to defend it,” she said.


For her unbeaten 73, Mithali Raj was mamed as the Player of the Match. She also ended up as the leading run-getter in the tournament with 220 runs at an average of 110.

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