Women’s Cricket World Cup: India open with Pakistan win despite batting wobble

Pooja Vastrakar (67) and Sneh Rana (53no) share century stand to help propel India to a score of 244-7 after an earlier mini batting collapse of five for 18; Pakistan bowled out for 137 in reply, with spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad taking 4-31

Last Updated: 06/03/22 9:53am

Pooja Vastrakar hit a career-best 67 to help India recover from a middle-order batting collapse

India overcame a top-order wobble to beat Pakistan by 107 runs and maintain their perfect record against their opponents in the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

India had prevailed in all 10 previous one-day international matches between the two teams, but that record looked in trouble when, following a 92-run partnership for the second wicket between Smriti Mandhana (52) and Deepti Sharma (40), India proceeded to lose five wickets for just 18 runs.

Struggling at 114-6 in the 34th over, it was counter-attacking knocks from lower-order batters Pooja Vastrakar (67) and Sneh Rana (53no) which helped to ultimately propel India up to a match-winning score of 244-7.

In reply, Indian spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4-31) ripped through the Pakistan middle order as they were bowled out for 137 with seven overs remaining in their innings.

“Relieved to have won the first game but there are a lot of things we have to work on,” India captain Mithali Raj said of her side’s patchy batting display.

“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.”

What’s next?

Watch every game of the Women’s Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports Cricket, with Pakistan next in action against Australia from 1am on Tuesday, and India meeting facing tournament hosts New Zealand at the same time on Thursday.

England, following defeat to Australia in their opening group game, are next in action against the West Indies – who opened the tournament with an upset win over New Zealand – from 10pm on Tuesday evening.

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