Dom­i­nant In­dia face Pak­istan in World T20

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story -

GE­ORGE­TOWN (GUYANA): On a high af­ter a re­sound­ing 34-run win­ning start over New Zealand in their ICC Women’s World T20 cam­paign, a con­fi­dent In­dia will aim to con­tinue their dom­i­na­tion over archri­vals Pak­istan when they face off at the Prov­i­dence Sta­dium here on Sun­day.

In­dia and Pak­istan women have played each other 10 times with In­dia win­ning eight times and Pak­istan the other two. In­dia also hold the up­per hand in World T20 events, win­ning three of the five en­coun­ters so far. Go­ing in to Sun­day’s high-oc­tane clash, In­dia will be hop­ing for a re­peat of their show in the opener against New Zealand. Skip­per Har­man­preet Kaur led from the front with a blis­ter­ing maiden T20I ton (103 from 51 balls) to help In­dia post a mam­moth 194/5, their high­est ever T20I to­tal be­fore the bowlers got into the act to re­strict the White Ferns to 160/9.

But de­spite the win, In­dia do have con­cerns in their bat­ting or­der, es­pe­cially at the top of the or­der af­ter stumper Taniya Bha­tia failed to jus­tify her pro­mo­tion to open the in­nings along side Sm­riti Mand­hana. While Bha­tia fell for nine, Mand­hana too got out cheaply af­ter scor­ing just two runs.

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if coach Romesh Powar and Har­man­preet de­cide to back vet­eran Mithali Raj to open the in­nings along side Mand­hana against Pak­istan. Mithali opened the in­nings for In­dia in the two warmup games against Eng­land and the West Indies scor­ing 18 and 0 re­spec­tively.

But the women- in- blue will take heart from the ef­forts of Har­man­preet and rookie Jemimah Ro­drigues, who forged to­gether a match-win­ning 134-run fourth wicket stand to dig In­dia out of a trou­bled start. Ro­drigues, in the process got to a bril­liant half cen­tury off a mere 40 balls. The bowl­ing de­part­ment is also ex­pected to keep up their de­cent work, spe­cially the spin duo of Day­alan He­malatha and Poonam Ya­dav, who shared six wick­ets be­tween them in the pre­vi­ous match.

On the other hand, Pak­istan will be itch­ing to bounce back from the open­ing 52-run loss in the opener against AUs­tralia, spe­cially con­sid­er­ing their good form in the two wins in the warm up fix­tures against South Africa and Bangladesh. Against Aus­tralia’s 165/5, Pak­istan failed to get go­ing af­ter be­ing ini­tially re­duced to 31/3 and later their lack of big hit­ters cost them dear to be even­tu­ally re­stricted to a mea­gre 113/8.

It will also be in­ter­est­ing to see how Pak­istan’s bowlers han­dle the on­slaught from the In­dian pow­er­hit­ters in Har­man­preet and Co. IANS

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