Jemimah Rodrigues’s ruthless late assault helped power India past rivals Pakistan at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Chasing a target of 150 to win, the Indian No.3 struck a brilliant 53 not out off just 38 deliveries to haul her team over the line with one over remaining.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof helped anchor her side to a competitive total of 149 for four after winning the toss in Cape Town.
Nashra Sandhu’s economical spell of left-arm spin had looked to put Pakistan in pole position for victory but Rodrigues, accompanied by wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, embarked on a thrilling onslaught to fire India to a seven-wicket win in Group B.
After losing the toss, India required fewer than two overs to grab the breakthrough as off-spinner Deepti Sharma removed Javeria Khan for eight.
That brought Bismah to the crease and accompanied by Muneeba Ali, the Pakistan skipper helped construct a partnership of 32 before wicketkeeper Muneeba was stumped off the bowling of Radha Yadav.
Bismah then lost new partner Nida Dar off just her second delivery – caught behind by Ghosh off Pooja Vastrakar – before Sidra Ameen was similarly snared by the India wicketkeeper off left-arm spinner Yadav.
But Bismah continued to motor on, finding a longer-term partner in the form of Ayesha Naseem and soon bringing up her 50 off 45 deliveries.
Ayesha’s arrival injected additional urgency into proceedings as she struck Renuka Singh for a four and six in consecutive deliveries.
And she cleared the rope once again in the final over to help haul her side to a total of 149 for four, finishing with a power-packed 43 not out off just 25 balls with Bismah on an unbeaten 68 at the other end.
India started solidly in their pursuit of the target as openers Yastika Bhatia and Shafali Verma put on 33 heading into the final over of the powerplay.
But Pakistan soon struck as Sadia Iqbal removed Bhatia for 17, chipping straight to Fatima Sana who held a straightforward catch at cover.
Verma navigated her way to a measured 33 off 25 balls before Pakistan claimed their second scalp, Sidra pulling off a stunning catch on the boundary off Nashra.
Nashra’s impressive middle overs spell continued to turn the screw for Pakistan and she soon struck once again by dismissing Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, caught by opposite number Bismah when attempting a slog sweep on 16.
That looked to put Pakistan on the brink of victory but India responded in style, with Rodrigues leading the charge alongside Ghosh.
The dangerous duo clattered a combined 27 runs off the 17th and 18th overs to leave their side with just 14 required from the final 12 balls.
And they only required half of that number to do so as Rodrigues struck three fours off Sana’s final over to bring up a brilliant half-century and fire her side to a memorable T20 World Cup victory.
Samarawickrama and De Silva steer Sri Lanka to victory over Bangladesh
Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva’s ice-cool hundred partnership steered Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh as they continued their winning start to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
Sri Lanka were reduced to 26 for three in the powerplay but Samarawickrama’s assured knock of 69 not out, coupled with De Silva’s unbeaten 41 at the other end, ensured Chamari Athapaththu’s side made it two wins in the space of three days at Newlands.
Bangladesh posted a total of 126 for eight in Cape Town as Oshadi Ranasinghe’s fine spell of three for 23 restricted them to a below-par total.
Laser-precise seamer Marufa Akter ripped through the Sri Lankan top order but Samarawickrama and De Silva steadied the ship to claim Sri Lanka’s first ever back-to-back wins at a Women’s T20 World Cup and extend their impressive start in Group A.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat in Cape Town – but it was Sri Lanka who landed the first blow in dramatic fashion.
Opening batter Murshida Khatun was run out after facing just a single delivery from a fabulous direct hit from Inoka Ranaweera at short fine leg.
Sobhana Mostary and wicketkeeper Shamima Sultana set about laying the foundations for the innings before Shamima was stumped by opposite number Anushka Sanjeewani off the bowling of Ranasinghe for 20.
That brought Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana to the crease, who helped construct a patient partnership alongside No.3 Sobhana.
But it ended inside the 10th over when Sobhana was bowled by Athapaththu for 29.
Bangladesh were struggling to manufacture any form of meaningful partnership and wickets continued to fall at regular intervals throughout the innings.
Shamima succumbed to Ranasinghe for 28 before the off-spinner claimed her third victim by getting Lata Mondal stumped for 11.
That left Shamima’s side with considerable work to do during the final five overs, but Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni and Nahida Akter were all dismissed cheaply to leave them with a total of 126 for eight at the halfway stage.
Sri Lanka may have fancied their chances setting out in pursuit of a chaseable-looking target – but Marufu had other ideas after being handed the ball by Shamima under the Cape Town lights.
The accurate seamer remarkably removed Athapaththu, Vishmi Gunaratne and Sanjeewani without conceding a single run in her spell, tearing through the Sri Lankan top order to leave them reeling at 26 for three inside the powerplay.
But that brought the composed duo of Samarawickrama and De Silva to the crease, who set about the recovery mission with alacrity and continued to chip away at the total.
And they showed no signs of letting their ever-increasing grip on the game slip, bringing up their hundred partnership in the 19th over and guiding their country to a historic second win on the spin at Newlands.
Scores in brief:
India beat Pakistan at Cape Town by seven wickets
Pakistan 149 for four in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 68 not out, Ayesha Naseem 43 not out; Radha Yadav 2/21, Pooja Vastrakar 1/31)
India 151 for three in 19 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 53 not out, Shafali Verma 33; Nashra Sandhu 2/15, Sadia Iqbal 1/25)
Player of the Match: Jemimah Rodrigues (India)
Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh at Cape Town by seven wickets
Bangladesh 126 for eight in 20 overs (Sobhana Mostary 29, Nigar Sultana 28; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3/23, Chamari Athapaththu 2/19)
Sri Lanka 129/3 in 18.2 overs (Harshitha Samarawickrama 69 not out, Nilakshi de Silva 41 not out; Marufa Akter 3/23)
Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.