CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — India scored 42 runs from three overs to pass a rigorous test and beat bitter rivals Pakistan by seven wickets in Sunday’s Women’s T20 World Cup.
Jemimah Rodrigues led India at Newlands with 53 steps on 38 balls, driving a four through the roof of the final 19th delivery to go to their half-century and seal victory.
Richa Ghosh failed to assist from 20 balls at 31 as India won their opening game with the help of two of their best youngsters. Rodrigues is 22 and Ghosh is just 19 and played in the last World Cup when he was 16.
The Indians have played 41 of the last four overs with a required run rate of over 10 per over and nerves were on edge. In the end, it only took them three of the last four overs to go 151-3 and overtake Pakistan 149-4.
It gave India a crucial winning start to the World Cup where there is little room for error. The two best teams from each of the two groups advance directly to the semi-finals.
India finished second in Group 2 behind England.
“Every game is important regardless of the opponent, but of course Pakistan is a big game,” India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said.
India is one of the contenders for the title. Defending champions Australia and number 2 England won their opening matches on Saturday.
Pakistani captain Bismah Maroof led her team abreast with 68 clear rounds. Their unbeaten partnership of 81 for the fifth wicket with Ayesha Naseem (43 not knocked out) put Pakistan on a tough tally.
India were briefly 109-4 when Ghosh received an Lbw for 9 as he tried to sweep the last ball of the 16th. She reviewed the decision and replays showed the ball was thrown from her glove before hitting her pad.
She made the most of her second chance, hitting three consecutive fours in the 18th as India raced towards the target.
Rodrigues matched that in the next over, finding the boundary three times and a continued 58 by the two young stars gave India a win over.
Sri Lanka improved to two wins in two games later on Sunday as a 104-game winning partnership between Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva pulled their team out of trouble against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh struggled 126-8 on their first strike but Sri Lanka were down 25-3 when sailor Marufa Akter won three wickets in her first eight deliveries without conceding a run.
Samarawickrama fought back to end the tournament with eight fours and a six to finish 69th, and de Silva finished 41st, to beat Sri Lanka 18.2 overs 129-3 and top Group 1 respectively.
The partnership could have been broken after 17 points when an outside edge from de Silva slipped through the hands of Murshida Khatun as she dived forward for a catch.
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