By Wisden India Staff
Chasing a modest 107, Pakistan batters fall short in battle for fifth place in the ICC Women's World Twenty20
India Women captain Mithali Raj (39) and Sonia Dabir (3 for 14) helped their team earn a six-run victory over Pakistan women in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014 Playoff 2 on Wednesday (April 2). This win ensured India finished the tournament in fifth position, joint with New Zealand.
Opting to bat at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium, India posted 106 for 7 in its 20 overs, and then restricted Pakistan to 100 for 9.
Pakistan may well have had history on its mind. After all, India holds the edge against it, having won four of their last five encounters. Besides, Pakistan has failed to chase down totals in its last three attempts, suffering defeats against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia by 44, 54 and 94 runs respectively. Its openers Javeria Khan (5) and Nain Abidi (1) began cautiously, but Dabir sent both openers back before long, with just 11 runs on the board.
With just two significant scores coming from Nahida Khan (26) and Nida Dar (24 not out) and with eight players failing to reach double figures, Pakistan fell short by six runs.
Earlier, Poonam Raut and Smriti Mandhana got India off to a modest start, scoring 29 runs in the Power Play overs. Mandhana, who did the bulk of the scoring in the first-wicket stand, fell first to Sania Khan for 22. Raj and Raut then picked up the scoring rate slightly, adding 35 runs in next 6.3 overs.
With 61 runs in 12 overs and with nine wickets in hand, India eyed a strong finish. However, its batters continued to disappoint: Raut (17) and Jhulan Goswami (0) were dismissed off consecutive deliveries in the 13th over by Sania.
Shikha Pandey (9), Dabir (9) and Shubhlakshmi Sharma (2) soon followed as India could manage just 106 for 7 in its 20 overs. With wicket tumbling in one end, it was again up to Raj to hold fort, as she has done all along the series, her 43-ball 39 helping the team reach a total they could hope to defend.