Cape Town: Indian bowlers failed to impress in the back end of the Pakistan innings as they allowed their rivals to post a competitive 149 for 4 in their opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup here Sunday.
Pakistan, who elected to bat, were reduced to 43 for 3 in the eighth over but they made a brilliant recovery, scoring 91 runs in the second half of their innings with captain Bismah Maroof (68 not out) and Ayesha Naseem (43 not out) stitching 81 runs for the unconquered fifth wicket.
Maroof struck seven fours during her 55-ball unbeaten knock while Naseem hit two fours and two sixes from 25 balls during her unbeaten innings. The duo frustrated the Indian bowlers for more than eight overs to take Pakistan to a competitive total.
For India, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav was the most successful bowler with figures of 2/21 while Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar got one wicket each.
India did not take long to get the breakthrough, with in-form off-spinner Deepti Sharma dismissing Pakistan opener Javeria Khan (8) in the second over with India captain Harmanpreet Kaur taking an easy catch at short fine leg after the batter had struck a boundary in the previous ball.
Pakistan showed attacking intent even after the early jolt as captain and one-down Bismah Maroof hit two consecutive boundaries in the fourth over. Pakistan were 39 for one at the end of powerplay overs.
A change in bowling yielded success for the Indians as left-arm spinner Radha Yadav removed the other opener Muneeba Ali (12) in the seventh over. A smart review by the Indians in the next over resulted to another wicket as Nida Dar was ruled out as there was a slight touch of the ball on her gloves off Pooja Vastrakar.
The two quick wickets set Pakistan on the back-foot from a promising position as they were reduced to 58 for 3 at the halfway mark.
The experienced Maroof was going strong and held one end together but wickets fell around her, including that of Sidra Ameen (11) who became Yadav’s second victim in the 13th over.
With the arrival of Ayesha Naseem in the 13th over, Pakistan pressed the accelerator as she made scoring look easy with a six and four off Renuka Singh in the 16th over.