New Delhi: The Indo-Pak rivalry will not just be limited to the men on Saturday in the ICC World Twenty20 as the women’s teams from both the countries will also square off in a low-on-hype contest where the hosts will start firm favourites.
The in-form Indian women’s team and Pakistan will clash at the Ferozshah Kotla ground in their second Group B ICC World Twenty20 match, a few hours before their male counterparts lock horns in Kolkata.
With a dominating 5-1 record against Pakistan in T20Is and on the back of a thumping win in their tournament opener against Bangladesh, the Mithali Raj-led women’s team will definitely start favourites in the Group B fixture.
This Indo-Pak ICC World Twenty20 fixture is in total contrast to the other one which has been embroiled in controversies before the start of the tournament.
India and Pakistan women’s have played each other only in six Twenty20 Internationals, without much fanfare.
India last played Pakistan in the 2014 edition of World T20 in Bangladesh where the Mithali Raj-led eves managed to sneak out with a close six-run win over their arch-rivals and come tomorrow they would like to continue their good run.
Going by their present form and past record, the Indian eves are expected to get past their neighbours without much trouble before they take on top teams like England and West Indies in quest of the two semifinal sports up for grabs from their group.
Unlike previous edition where they were ousted in the group stages, the Indian eves are a contender this time around, courtesy their recent good showing in the T20 format which includes their historic 2-1 T20 away series win over mighty Australia in late January this year followed by the 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the run up to the ongoing World T20.
So far, the Indian eves have managed to live up to the expectations having thrashed a hapless Bangladesh by 72 runs in their opening match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
In their tournament-opener in Bangalore, India managed to put on their highest T20I total of 163 for five and the hosts would like to carry on the good work to prolong their journey in the event.
Mithali (42 off 35 balls) is in rollicking form and led the team from the front. She was well supported by Harmanpreet Kaur (40 off 29), VR Vanitha (38 off 24) and Veda Krishnamurthy (36 not out off 24).
The Jhulan Goswami-led Indian bowling line-up too looked good and dished out a disciplined performance to restrict Bangladesh to 91 for five.
On the other hand, Pakistan women lost their opening match by just four runs to the West Indies.
While Pakistan’s bowling unit produced a valiant performance, what let them down against West Indies was their batting as they failed to chase down a paltry target of 104.
Ahead of their marquee clash against India, Pakistan women were dealt a severe blow after all-rounder Javeria Khan was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a broken jaw after being hit by a bouncer during their World T20 opener against West Indies. PTI