Cricket-India women trump Pakistan to maintain perfect record

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FILE PHOTO: Cricket – Women’s Cricket World Cup Final Preview – India Nets & Press Conference – London, Britain – July 22, 2017 India’s Mithali Raj during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

India overcame a top order wobble to beat Pakistan by 107 runs to maintain their perfect record against the neighbors in the women’s cricket World Cup on Sunday.

India had prevailed in all 10 previous one-day matches between the two, but Bismah Maroof’s team threatened to pull off an upset when they reduced Mithali Raj’s side to 114-6 in the 34th over.

Opener Smriti Mandhana made 52 but it was counter-attacking knocks from lower-order batters Pooja Vastrakar (67) and Sneh Rana, who made unbeaten 53, that helped India to a decent total of 244-7.

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Indian seamers kept it tight upfront and spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4-31) wrecked the middle order as Pakistan were bundled out for 137 with seven overs remaining in their innings.

India’s teenaged wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh effected five dismissals.

“Relieved to have won the first game but there are a lot of things we have to work on,” Mithali said of India’s patchy batting in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

“When you lose wickets like that, it puts pressure. The partnership between Pooja and Sneh got us back. It’s important the top order scores runs, we’ll want to address that.”

Counterpart Bismah said Pakistan could not capitalize on the strong start and let India off the hook.

“We gave away easy runs to them, we were sloppy on the field, we didn’t put them under pressure,” she said. “Our batting has to improve, our shot selection wasn’t good, we’ll work on it ahead of the next game.”

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