Indian Women registered a comfortable 7-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their T20 World Cup campaign opener at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town. Chasing a target of 150, Jemimah Rodrigues (53*) and Richa Ghosh (31*) batted brilliantly to stitch an unbeaten 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket and took India over the line. Pakistan pacers failed to produce an impressive effort and will be disappointed with their performance.
After electing to bat first, Pakistan lost its opener Javeria Khan early for 8. Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof looked to steady their innings but Radha Yadav struck in the 7th over to dismiss Muneeba (12). In the very next over, Pooja Vastrakar sent back Nida Dar for a duck.
Radha then dismissed Sidra Ameen (11) to reduce Pakistan to 68/4. It seemed that Pakistan might not reach a decent score to defend but Maroof and Ayesha Naseem added 81 runs in no time and helped their side to post 149/4 in 20 overs. Pakistan captain Maroof led from the front and top-scored an unbeaten 68 while Naseem played a cameo of 43 off 25-balls.
India in response got off to a decent start, scoring 38 runs in 5.2 overs. Sadia Iqbal drew the first blood by removing Yastika Bhatia (17). Shafali Verma played a crucial knock of 33 at the top before Nashra Sandhu bagged her. India captain Harmanpreet Kaur (16) had a good start but failed to convert it into a big score. Rodrigues and Ghosh played well and never allowed the Pakistan bowlers to settle. India will take on West Indies on February 15.