Galle, Oct 2: Pakistan women edged Indian women by one run in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 here on Monday. The loss meant India remained winless in the tournament. And for Pakistan, this was their first win. However both teams are out of contention for semi-finals
India will now play Sri Lanka at the NCC in Colombo, while South Africa plays Pakistan in the play-off on Wednesday 3 October for a place in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014.
It was a thrilling match between India and Pakistan in the morning which saw the traditional rivals put on a show that kept the crowd guessing until the last ball.
After being asked to bowl, India was disciplined as it restricted Pakistan to 98 for nine. Pakistan captain Sana Mir top-scored with 26, but was sent back by debutant Roshanara Parwin in the 10th over.
Nain Abidi came in at number three and struck two fours on her way to 25, while Asmavia Khokhar also contributed with the bat, scoring 10. Marina Iqbal was on 9 when the team reached 98 for nine in its 20 overs.
Chasing 99, India ended on 97 for eight from its 20 overs. India appeared to be cruising at 44 for one in the tenth over, when it suddenly lost three wickets in two overs. The turnaround was scripted by off-spinner Nida Rashid, who dismissed Poonam Raut (18), Mithali Raj (16) and Harmanpreet Kaur (5), before Reema Malhotra was bowled by Mir for just 7.
Jhulan Goswami kept the runs ticking over, but Bisma Maroof dismissed both Goswami (21) and Amita Sharma (7) in the same over to leave India with 14 to get off the final over. India managed only 12 as Pakistan squeezed home by the narrowest of margins.
Rashid was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with figures of three for 12 in four overs.
Pakistan captain Sana Mir credited her bowlers for defending a low total on a good batting pitch. "One of the reasons we batted was because the bowlers have been doing well and we've defended modest targets," she said.
Mir felt her team's win would boost the image of women's cricket in the country. "It is extremely satisfying that we've finally managed to break the jinx and beat India at an ICC event. This is our first ever win in the ICC World Twenty20. It is a delightful feeling, and I believe this win is one of the highpoints in our careers. It will be a good advertisement for the sport back in Pakistan."
Player of the match Nida Rashid said it was a dream come true to perform on the big stage. "I've been working really hard. I wanted to do really well, especially against India. All the bowlers supported me well," she said. "I wanted to become the woman of the match, and I think this is my best performance to date."
Mithali Raj, the India captain, was unhappy with the batting collapse that saw India crumble against spin. "I don't know what to say really. I do realise how important my wicket was, but with that comes a lot of pressure on me."
The one-run loss means India enter the play-offs without a win under its belt. "I think this is a turning point in women's cricket in India. We have a lot of things to rectify if we're to scale high again," said Raj. "We can't sulk. We've to build towards the 50-over World Cup next year. Most importantly, a lot of our players need to become mentally tough. Just having skills won't suffice at the international level."
At GICS, Pakistan defeated India by 1 run
Pakistan 98/9 in 20 overs (Sana Mir 26, Nain Abidi 25; Roshnara Parwin 2/15) beat India 97/8 in 20 overs (Jhulan Goswami 21, Poonam Raut 18; Nida Rashid 12/3)
Player of the Match - Nida Rashid