Cuttack, Feb 7: Captain Mithali Raj hit a century to lead India to a six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 here on Thursday. The win gave India seventh place in the tournament.
Mithali led India's chase of 193. She remained unbeaten on 103 as the hosts reached the target in 46 overs. This was Mithali's fourth One Day International hundred in her 145th match. She hit 13 boundaries and six in her 141-ball knock.
Earlier, Indian bowlers kept a tight leash over Pakistan's scoring rate to restrict the arch-rivals to 192 for 7.
The decision to bat first after winning the toss didn't quite work for Pakistan, who were saved to a large extent due to the contrasting half-centuries from Nain Abidi (58) and Nida Dar (68 not out).
The Indians bowlers, led by the economical pace duo of Jhulan Goswami (2/17) and Nagarajan Niranjana (3/35), kept it tight for most part of the 50 overs.
The hosts, who were knocked out of the event after being stunned by minnows Sri Lanka in a must-win group match, were off to a perfect start when they sent back the Pakistani openers with just 28 runs on the board in 11 overs.
But Abidi steadied the rocking boat by forging a small 32-run partnership with Bimah Maroof (15). Then came the crucial 80-run stand with Dar, which brought Pakistan back into the match.
Dar was the more aggressive of the two batters, striking seven fours in her 83-ball knock.
Abidi faced 113 balls and struck five fours before being out caught by Thirush Kamini off Goswami's bowling. After the settled partnership was broken, Pakistan could not accelerate in the closing stages faced with a disciplined Indian attack.
For India, Ekta Bisht also chipped in with a wicket even though she was tad expensive, conceding 50 runs in her nine overs.