Women’s World Cup 2022: India defeats Pakistan after Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana rescue artist, makes winning start

India overcame a usual mediocre performance to earn a successful start to the 2022 Women’s World Cup campaign, beating Pakistan by 107 runs in Sunday’s opening game of the tournament at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

India may not be entirely impressed with their batting show in the World Cup opener, but their much-criticized bowling attack intensified and made it easy for Pakistan’s batting unit. Chasing a total of 245 points, Bismah Maroof’s women never got off the ground and eventually tied for 137 in 43 overs, giving India a massive win and a big rise in net run rate in the opening game.

India vs Pakistan, Women’s World Cup 2022: highlights

India had entered their World Cup opener with a 10-0 record in ODIs and Mithali Raj’s side built on that by continuing their dominance over their neighbors in the game’s 50-over format. Aside from opener Sidra Ameen (30), none of the other Pakistani batsmen managed to break the 20-run mark in a disappointing show.

RAJESHWARI GAYAKWAD SPINS A NET

Rajeshwari Gayakwad stared the show for India with the ball as the left arm spin proved to be a major headache for the fighting in Pakistan on Sunday.

She gave India their first breakthrough by signing Javeria Khan (11) after Pakistan got off to a slow start. Bismah’s side didn’t lose a wicket in the first 10 overs but there was no goal as India held it tight.

Gayakwad also ran through the middle class, firing Aliya Riaz (11), Fatima Sana (17) and Sidra Nawaz (13).

Gayakwad pulled off a match-winning spell of 4/34 in 10 overs when she met her quota well before the 40th over.

Senior pacer Jhulan Goswami was great as always, giving away just 16 runs in her 8-over spell and taking wickets from Sidra Ameen and Nida Dar (4).

Pakistan captain Maroof, who had entered the Mount Maunganui venue with her child, struggled to unnerve the scorers when she was sent off for 15 by Deepti Sharma.

POOJA VASTRAKAR SHINES IN WORLD CUP DEBUT

Pooja Vastrakar may not have had the opportunity to bowl, but she made it a dream Worlds debut, saving India with a quick 67 from just 59 balls and a match-winning streak in Sneh Rana (53 from 48 balls). 123 runs scored the 7th goal.

Vastrakar and Rana fought with the intention that the middle class would not come out on top in the World Cup opener against Pakistan.

MITHALI, HARMANPREET FAILURE

It looked like India would fold with less than 150 balls total as spinners Nashra Sandhu and Nida Dar ran through the middle order after a classy fifty from Smriti Mandhana (52 of 75 balls). India faltered at 114 for 6 in the 34th over after losing back-to-back captain MIthali Raj (9 of 36), Harmanpreet Kaur (5 of 14) and Richa Ghosh (1).

Chips were down and Pakistani players were buzzing, raising hopes of their first ever win over India in ODI cricket. However, Vastrakar and Rana dashed their hopes with a counterattack that will give the team management plenty of confidence when they play the first tournament.

While Rana hit 4 boundaries for her 48-ball 53, Vastrakar smashed 8 boundaries for her 59-ball 67 as India hit 244 runs on the board.

Previously, Smriti and Deepti Sharma (40) added 92 runs for the 2nd wicket after India had already lost Shafali Verma by 0 in the 3rd over.

India have many positives to take from their massive win but the form of Shafali and Harmanpreet is a cause for concern. Captain Mithali must also look for ways to keep the scoreboard moving and prevent it from putting pressure on their middle tier partners.

India meets New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Thursday. Remarkably, they had lost a 4-1 ODI series to the White Ferns last month as they prepared for the Worlds.

CWC 2022, IND VS PAK BRIEF RESULTS

India 244/7 in 50 overs (Pooja 67, Sneh 53; Sandhu 2/36) Beat Pakistan 137-all-out in 43 overs (Ameen 30; Gayakwad 4/31, Goswami 2/26) of 107 runs at Mount Maunganui.

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