The stakes could not be higher. A win on Thursday will put Sunrisers Hyderabad in the playoffs, and a loss will throw Delhi Daredevils out of the tournament, but wait, there’s more.
Imagine Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the top of his mark. At the top of his game. One of the best bowlers in limited-overs cricket. And at the other end, an 18-year old, with scant international experience, but bursting with so much talent that he is already being compared to Sachin Tendulkar.
We’ve been here before, of course. Prithvi Shaw scored 65 off 36 balls against Sunrisers on Saturday. Clearly, the battle between the next generation of Indian batsmen – Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant included – and some of T20 cricket’s finest bowlers – Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan – is just so nice, you gotta see it twice, along with the bells and whistles of promotion and relegation.
In the news
Among Daredevils’ overseas batsmen, Jason Roy has scored 97 from three innings (including a 91*), Glenn Maxwell 133 from nine innings and Colin Munro 63 from five. Maxwell, however, has picked wickets in three of his last four games, and even bowled a Powerplay over for just four runs against Sunrisers. Given the drought of runs, Daredevils have started using two overseas slots for bowlers – Liam Plunkett and Trent Boult – apart from Dan Christian and could do the same on Thursday by picking only one of the above three batsmen. But who?
It has been 1128 days since Kolkata Knight Riders last beat Mumbai Indians, and that streak could continue until 2019 after the visitors destroyed their hosts by 102 runs at Eden Gardens.
The result took Mumbai into the top four for the first time this IPL season, in firm contention for a playoff spot. KKR, on the other hand, slid to fifth after spending considerable time in the top half of the league.
Mumbai were powered by Ishan Kishan’s blazing half-century before their bowlers applied an age-old tactic of bowling short to dismember the KKR batting line-up. Chasing 211, KKR were all out for their lowest total at home – 108; while Mumbai completed their second largest victory in terms of runs.
For the third year in a row, Mumbai beat KKR both home and away during the league phase of the IPL.
Kishan changes the game
He walked in during the first time-out, with Mumbai 62 for 2 in nine overs, and soon hit a six and three fours off wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla. With Kishan racing to 21 off 9 balls, Mumbai were suddenly not dependent on Rohit Sharma for acceleration.
Kishan spared neither pace nor spin, but he took particular liking to Kuldeep’s loopy left-arm. In the 14th over, Kishan played different shots to send four consecutive balls over the boundary, and brought up his half-century off 17 balls, the joint quickest for a Mumbai batsman.
In the next over, Kishan fell in the most Kishan-like manner. After sending Sunil Narine into the stands at midwicket, he swept once again – looking for his seventh six – but found Robin Uthappa at deep backward square-leg. By the time Kishan fell for a 21-ball 62, Mumbai’s score had swollen by 82 runs in just 5.4 overs.
With a platform for a big total, Ben Cutting came out to bat in the 19th over and carried on from where Kishan had left off. He smacked his second ball for six over long-on before taking 16 off the final over’s first three balls. Krunal Pandya ended Mumbai’s innings with a six – making it 22 runs off Chawla’s last over – and took the score to 210.
KKR’s top order self-destructs
Narine was back opening for KKR and he smashed Mitchell McClenaghan over his head first ball. But McClenaghan got his revenge immediately, with a short and fast delivery that cramped Narine for room.
A brief recovery followed, with Chris Lynn and Uthappa making use of Powerplay restrictions, but KKR were derailed in the fourth over when Lynn attempted a suicidal run. Uthappa had sliced the ball to cover point off the front foot, but Lynn thought he wanted the run. Lynn sprinted halfway down the pitch – only to be sent back – and with that, KKR had lost both openers.
India 119 for 1 (Dhawan 51*) beat South Africa 118 (Chahal 5-22, Kuldeep 3-20) by nine wickets
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav shared eight wickets between them at SuperSport Park, taking their total for the series to 13, as South Africa’s biggest weakness was brutally exposed once again. Against wristspin, their line-up is close to clueless, especially without two of their leading batsmen. In the absence of the injured Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, the hosts folded for their lowest ODI total at home, and their eighth-lowest overall.
Twenty-three-year-old Aiden Markram’s international leadership debut on his home ground should have been the stuff of dreams, but it quickly turned into a nightmare. South Africa lost their first four wickets for 12 runs in the space of 26 balls and, after a very short period of rebuilding, their next six for 19 runs in 36 balls and were bowled out inside 33 overs. And just like that India cantered to a 2-0 series lead.
Virat Kohli chose to put South Africa in because he expected some early movement with two new balls; the hosts were happy to bowl second, anticipating turn in the afternoon. But they did not have to wait that long to see what spinners could do on a surface that will doubtless come under the spotlight again, for failing to play the home team’s advantage.
South Africa had a quiet start as Hashim Amla tried to anchor one end while Quinton de Kock was in the wars at the other. The first ball de Kock faced, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah, dribbled onto his stumps off a block but the bails were not dislodged. The second was a bouncer, in the vicinity of his throat, and the third struck him on the left hand.
De Kock got off the mark with a hook shot but continued to play tentatively and it was up to Amla to up the ante. That wasn’t easy against the Indian openers and Amla flirted with danger when he edged one over the top of second slip but seemed to settle with a gorgeous cover drive.
South Africa would have seen out the Powerplay wicket-less and scoring at around four runs to the over but Amla – anticipating a fuller delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and shaping up to flay through the offside – was dismissed off a back-of-a-length ball that nipped back into him and took the edge as it passed through the bat-pad gap. Amla uncharacteristically reviewed, but replays showed he had to go.
De Kock lasted three more overs and never looked comfortable at the crease or with his equipment. He called for bat tape for an issue with the bottom of his bat and it was exactly that spot that got him into trouble when he tried to pull Chahal over midwicket but only found the fielder.
Sensing an opportunity to burrow into South Africa, Kohli brought on Kuldeep in the next over. His first ball was a half-tracker that Markram smacked in the air to deep midwicket where Bhuvneshwar was waiting. His fifth was tossed up, inviting the drive from David Miller, who came forward as the ball dipped in and edged to slip.
South Africa went from 39 without loss to 51 for 4. JP Duminy, the senior-most batsman in the line-up, had yet to face a ball and was out there with Khaya Zondo who was on debut. Duminy watched from the other end for 16 deliveries before his turn came. He and Zondo, who played calmly despite the situation, shared in a fifth-wicket stand of 48 and were allowed some reprieve when Kohli brought Hardik Pandya on in place of Chahal. They got to 95 for 4 at the halfway stage but then Chahal was brought back, Zondo’s eyes lit up to a slow, wide ball outside off, and he slog-swept to midwicket to leave Duminy with only Chris Morris and the tail.
In Chahal’s next over, Duminy was out lbw on the sweep. He wanted to review but Amla had used the only chance, and, even if Duminy did, it would have been in vain. The ball drifted from leg to pitch on middle and would have gone on to hit the stumps.
From there, it was a procession. Kuldeep trapped Kagiso Rabada lbw after Rabada failed to pick the wrong ‘un, and he had Morne Morkel dropped at mid-on the next ball. Morkel only lasted five more balls before he too fell to spin; he played against the turn to Chahal and was out lbw.
Imran Tahir was bowled by Bumrah and Morris holed out to deep cover to give Chahal his maiden ODI five-for, the best figures by an Indian bowler against South Africa in South Africa, and the second-best by an Indian against South Africa ever. To add insult to injury, India knocked off all but 21 runs of the target by the time of the scheduled lunch break, and play was extended by 15 minutes to allow the result to be achieved. But because it wasn’t, the players left the field for lunch with India needing two runs to win from 31 overs.
That farce aside, India did not face too many issues in the field. When play resumed, they quickly got the winning runs with a bit of a mis-hit behind square. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli took India there, with a second-wicket stand of 93 runs, with Dhawan providing the match’s only half-century. South Africa only had one moment of success, when Kagiso Rabada had Rohit Sharma caught at fine leg off a bouncer in the fourth over. Rabada was the only bowler to show some intent and hit Kohli in the stomach, but South Africa needed much more. They did not even have enough runs to assess whether their decision to field two specialist spinners would have paid off, but the 18 runs Tabraiz Shamsi conceded in three overs suggests India were more than ready for the challenge.
India captain Mithali Raj has warned England not to expect an easy contest when they come up against her side in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday. Harmanpreet Kaur struck an astonishing unbeaten 171 — the highest score by an Indian player, male or female, in a World Cup knockout match — to set the platform for a thrilling 36-run semi-final victory over defending champions Australia at Derby on Thursday.
That set-up a rematch of the opening fixture of the tournament, where India beat England by 35 runs, to decide who lifts the World Cup trophy in front of a sell-out Lord’s crowd. “As a team we are all very excited to be part of the final,” said Raj, reflecting on India reaching their first World Cup final since 2005.
“We knew that this tournament wasn’t going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed, whether it was the batters or bowlers, this win has definitely changed the scenario in terms of how the girls will look up to the final.
“It definitely isn’t going to be easy for England. But it will come down to how we perform on that day. We really have to work on our planning and strategy because England have also peaked after being defeated by us in the first game.
“They have performed well in the run up to the final, so playing a host in their own country is going to be a challenge. But saying that this unit is up for it.”
Player-of-the-match Harmanpreet Kaur hit an unbeaten 171 off 115 balls, the second highest score of the tournament.
Only her third ODI century, Harmanpreet Kaur produced an innings of destructive batting, smashing 20 fours and seven sixes, as India set six-time champions Australia 282 to win.
Elyse Villani’s 75 kept Australia above the required run rate but their dreams of making it to a ninth final was lost when she was dismissed, despite the best efforts of Alex Blackwell (90) late on.
For pre-tournament favourites Australia, it meant a second international tournament in a row without silverware despite reaching the knockout rounds in both.
A defeated Meg Lanning cut a solemn figure and the captain believes there’s a lot for Australia to improve on if they’re to achieve more silverware, although they are still waiting on their future with contract discussions on-going between Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers’ Association.
“It’s definitely a very disappointing finish to the tournament, we came here to win,” said Lanning who was out for nought.
“We’re going to have to look at a few things and see what we’re going to need to do, because all of the teams around the world are improving.
“We’ve got a fair bit of work to do to make sure we keep getting better to make sure we beat sides like England and India.”
Shastri is likely to pitch for the return of bowling Coach Bharath Arun despite the presence of Zaheer Khan in their ranks.
The former team director’s choice of bowling coach was always Arun and it is now apparent that CAC did not take Shastri into confidence while recommending Zaheer as the bowling coach although his role would be similar to that of Rahul Dravid that of a consultant.
According to the sources, it has been revealed that Zaheer is unlikely to give around 250 days a year that a full-time bowling coach will be required to and may not be available for more than 100 days. Zaheer’s salary package has not yet been inked as negotiations are still on.
Earlier, Shastri was asked about his choice of bowling coach, he had said Arun but one particular member of CAC was against it.
Shastri then apparently said that: “Give me Jason Gillespie then”. Gillespie is widely acknowledged as the best bowling coach in the cricketing fraternity. Even it is impossible that the BCCI could rope in someone like Gillespie, who is already contracted with Papua New Guinea.
The BCCI has also kept Venkatesh Prasad’s name on standby but it is unlikely Shastri will settle for anything less than Arun.
According to reliable sources to PTI, Shastri is expected to meet the top officials and the Committee of Administrators (COA) during the weekend as he is expected to cut short his trip to the United Kingdom.
“Ravi has highest regards for Zaheer but he believes that a full-time bowling coach is required. Let Zak create a roadmap for bowlers and it will be Arun who will implement it. Ravi is expected to speak to COA on Saturday and make it clear that he would like Arun to join the team from Sri Lanka tour itself,” a reliable BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
If Arun is reappointed as Coach, the Shastri –Ganguly rift will take another turn, as Ganguly is the person who backed Zaheer to be the bowling coach and only accepted Shastri as head coach if Zaheer was in the ranks as well.
Ganguly and Shastri haven’t seen eye to eye after the former Bengal cricketer picked Anil Kumble as coach ahead of Shastri last year, a decision that Shastri deemed unfair.
Regarding Arun’s appointment, it will be seen if the CAC and the BCCI will change the bowling coach or stick with their original selection. Arun had replaced Joe Dawes in 2014 and was there with the Indian team till 2016 when Shastri was looked over.
India beat Australia by 8 wickets in final Test in Dharamsala to win series 2-1, reclaim Border-Gavaskar Trophy
India 106 for 2 (Rahul 51*) and 332 (Jadeja 63, Rahul 60, Pujara 57, Lyon 5-92) beat Australia 300 (Smith 111, Wade 57, Warner 56, Kuldeep 4-68) and 137 (Maxwell 45, Jadeja 3-24, Ashwin 3-29, Umesh 3-29) by eight wickets Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ajinkya Rahane sent a 146kph bouncer from Pat Cummins flying into the crowd at midwicket and, next ball, slapped another short one over the cover fence while backing away. These were the blows that finally snuffed out the last of Australia’s fight, and sealed once and for all India’s victory in this most bewitching of Border-Gavaskar series.
Australia entered the fourth morning with only the scantest of hopes, defending a mere 87 runs and needing 10 wickets. This did not mean that contest was over, as Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins fired the ball down with pace and venom after a night’s refreshment. The loss of M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara – the latter run out by a brilliant throw from Glenn Maxwell – kept Australia hoping. But KL Rahul and Rahane responded with bold blows to settle the matter.
The win in Dharamsala ended India’s marathon home Test season with four series victories out of four, and also means that the team presently holds series honours over every other nation in the five-day game. Rahane’s stand-in captaincy, in the absence of the injured Virat Kohli, had been vital to this achievement, so too the runs of Rahul, the pace of Umesh Yadav and the all-round contribution of Ravindra Jadeja. There will be great satisfaction derived also from the fact that Dharamsala offered conditions more familiar to the tourists.
For that reason, among others, Steven Smith’s team were left to ponder a string of missed opportunities after their vast opening win in Pune. There have been times in all three Tests since that the Australians have looked very much in control of proceedings, but they have been unable to stay on the mountaintop under pressure from an Indian side roused into action by the shock of that first-up hiding.
As the ball continued to bounce and swerve when India resumed their pursuit of a modest target today, Australia’s fielders must have wondered what might have been with another 100 or so runs to defend. Josh Hazlewood went up for a pair of vociferous lbw appeals against Vijay in the opening over, but on both occasions the opener got the merest of bat to ball before it struck the pad.
At the other end Cummins sent a bouncer down the leg side that may have touched Vijay’s gloves before being taken on the juggle by Matthew Wade. Certainly Ultra Edge indicated as much, but only Wade raised the most half-hearted of appeals. More straightforward was another edge in Cummins’ next over, near enough to an action replay of Vijay’s first-innings dismissal, which offered a glimmer of light for Australia.
Genuine excitement followed when Pujara and Rahul hesitated fatally in taking a quick single to the right arm of Maxwell, who threw down middle stump to send Pujara on his way with 60 still needed. In those moments the Australians wondered briefly what might be possible, and the Indian viewing area tensed up like with so many teams chasing a pesky small target in the past.
But Rahane and Rahul barely put a foot out of place in the overs that followed, accumulating steadily until Cummins elected to go around the wicket for the tourists’ final effort. Rahane’s riposte, the first impressively orthodox, the second more redolent of the forthcoming IPL, said much about India’s admirable resilience in the face of a most unexpected challenge.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
Tea Australia 276 and 101 for 6 (Handscomb 19*, Ashwin 3-35) need another 87 runs to beat India 189 and 274 (Pujara 92, Rahane 52, Rahul 51, Hazlewood 6-67)
What a great Test. This comeback from India sets up the series nicely. The final day lived up to its expectations. The whole Test was great. We have people at the ground to report and analyse what happened and what the fallout of this is. Thanks for joining us here, and do come back to read and watch the fallout. Goodbye
“Great Test match,” says Steven Smith. “Certainly ebbed and floed throughout. I am proud of the way the boys played it. The partnership between Rahane and Pujara hurt us. They played really well. And we weren’t up for it today. It was quite hard to play. Bit up and down with the quicks throughout the match, and that rough outside off. Quite difficult but Test match cricket is not supposed to be easy. A wicket like that, always umpires have to make a lot of calls. Everyone makes mistakes. Not that I am saying they made any. Series is well and truly alive. Great two Tests. Plenty to play for when we go to Ranchi.”
“After losing the first Test the way we did,” says Virat Kohli. “We wanted to bounce back and not show anyone but ourselves what we are made of. They showed the intent and the belief that we can win from any position. It was about taking responsibility. The way they showed heart and character, along with the crowd, is unbelievable. The moment they did not score big in the second innings, we knew we had a chance. We knew if we got anything over 150, we had a chance. After conceding the lead, Pujara and Rahane had a champion partnership. Two best Test batsmen we have got, so much character and technique and heart. Wriddhi’s knock in the end, Ishant’s application, that was a bonus. We would have liked anything over 200, we thought from 225 there was only one winner. The moment we got 187, we knew we needed in-out fields, we needed to finish it today. Can’t wait for Ranchi. We need to push that momentum further. The team is not going to look back now.”
“There is no better place for to perform like I did,” says KL Rahul, the Man of the Match. “After that first loss, to come here and do what we did is really really special. we have achieved a lot but this win for a young team will be really really special. I have played all my cricket here. I told them if we get 150 lead we will win by 30. We knew the third day was the best day to bat on, and the approach from us was brilliant. There was a time they said when I get past 20 I get a hundred. That was a problem. Now if we get just fifty, that is a problem. On a serious note, I was disappointed. Openers need to get big runs. This was a disappointment but now that we have won, that disappointment is gone. My shouldr gets quite sore, I can’t dive, and I have to restrict a couple of shots. It is not such a bad thing. I can bat within myself. I am enjoying batting with the problem”
Happy Indian team, and happy quotes from them all. We have heard from Ashwin, Yadav, Pujara and Rahane. We are yet to hear from Smith, Kohli and most probably KL Rahul, who should be the Man of the Match
“It was not coming out of the hand all right,” says R Ashwin. “I was trying to turn it too hard. One good thing I did was when wickets were not coming, I kept the runs down. We just spoke inside the dressing room to bowl some short spells and keep changing over. That is why we were rotating so we could attack through such short balls.”
“We were just trying to hit the deck hard,” says Umesh Yadav. “We knew from where the ball was keeping up and down. Every time we were trying to hit the wickets. Always a pleasure playing with Ishant. He gives me ideas on how to bowl.”
“We were not thinking too far ahead,” says Ajinkya Rahane. “We knew 200 would be tough to get on this pitch. We wanted to unsettle the spinners. We wanted to dominate, not through boundaries, but through singles.”
“It is a great feeling to beat Australia,” says Cheteshwar Pujara. “The way we were so far behind, it is a great satisfaction. We just wanted a partnership. The balls were staying low. The way Nathan Lyon bowled in the first innings, we needed a Plan B, and we had it. Anything over 200 was almost impossible here. Once we crossed 150, we were confident. When I went in to bat, I never thought about the runs. I just had a positive intent. Now probably we will have the psychological advantage the way we have played.”
Ashwin and Kohli, as usual, share the spotlight, but the team makes it a point to thank Jadeja. They must also thank Rahul, Pujara and Rahane. Rahul for keeping them alive with his twin fifties, and Pujara and Rahane for that wicketless session yesterday to put India ahead. This is India’s ninth win this season, but might taste the sweetest after the crisis they found themselves in
Meanwhile, in another country, another sport, but the one and only Nagraj Gollapudi. He makes his debut as a badminton correspondent on our sister site ESPN.in and he’s covering the All England Open, which starts later today. Saina, Sindhu, Lin Dan, the Great Danes, all in action over the next few days.
At tea on the fourth day in Bengaluru, only one thing was certain: this Test would not be a draw. But a trophy-securing win for Australia? A series-levelling victory for India? A tie? Any of those outcomes seemed plausible. A session full of tension finished with Australia needing 87 runs to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and their brisk run-rate gave them a chance. But India required only four wickets, and on this pitch, such strikes could come quickly.
Set 188 to win on a dry, cracking surface offering variable bounce, the Australians went to tea on 101 for 6, having just lost Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade shortly before the break. Those strikes made India the favourites, though Australia would not have been unhappy at the tea break halting India’s momentum. The key man for Australia was Peter Handscomb, the last remaining member of the top six, who had used his feet well and went to tea on 19.
It was a session in which every ball felt like a possible wicket, and in which every run was cheered by the Australians. It was also a session in which Australia’s use of the DRS cost them. David Warner was given out early in the session, lbw trying to sweep R Ashwin on 17, and his review was struck down when umpire’s call was shown for impact and off stump. The loss of that review almost certainly prevented Shaun Marsh using one five overs later.
Marsh had shouldered arms to Umesh Yadav, who was coming around the wicket, and was given out by umpire Nigel Llong when struck on the pad. Unsure whether he should ask for a review, Marsh consulted his partner, Steven Smith, and the end result was that Marsh walked off. A review would have saved him: it was a poor decision from Llong, the ball clearly going to miss off stump by some distance.
The review system was again in the spotlight soon afterwards when Smith was struck by a grubber from Umesh, and seemed to signal to the Australian dressing room for advice on whether to have the call reviewed. Llong stepped in to prevent the communication, Virat Kohli also objected, and Smith walked off for 28. A review would have been futile: he couldn’t have been plumber if he’d been wearing a Super Mario costume.
Mitchell Marsh struck three quick boundaries before he was caught in close off Ashwin for 13, and Wade could not survive until tea, out for a fifth-ball duck when his inside edge lobbed off his pad and up for Wriddhiman Saha to take a diving catch. It left Australia six down, after the session had began with Matt Renshaw edging behind an excellent seamer from Ishant Sharma.
Lunch had marked the innings break after Josh Hazlewood led an excellent bowling display from the visitors and picked up 6 for 67. Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were both devastating during a new-ball spell that earned Australia five wickets in 19 deliveries, before a last-wicket partnership between Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma nudged India’s lead to 187.
Hazlewood’s figures were the best by an Australia fast bowler in a Test innings in India for 37 years, since Geoff Dymock claimed 7 for 67 at Kanpur in October 1979. India started the morning at 213 for 4 and hoped to extend their lead past 200, but the work of Australia’s fast bowlers made that a difficult ask, and India were bowled out for 274, having added 61 to their overnight total for the loss of their last six wickets.
Starc started the carnage by swinging the new ball in to Ajinkya Rahane, who on 52 was rapped on the pad and given not out by umpire Llong. However, Smith opted for a review and it was a good one for Australia as the decision was overturned. Next ball, Karun Nair failed to handle Starc’s pace and swing and tickled an inside edge onto his stumps, and such was the ferocity of the delivery that the leg stump shattered on impact.
Starc’s hat-trick delivery was negotiated by Saha, if not concvincingly then at least effectively, but in the next over Hazlewood picked up an even more important wicket. Cheteshwar Pujara looked set for a century, having resumed on 79, but on 92 he failed to handle a shortish Hazlewood ball that was fended to gully, where Mitchell Marsh took the catch. Three balls later, R Ashwin was bowled by one that stayed low, and Hazlewood had two in the over.
In Hazlewood’s next over he accounted for Umesh, who swung hard and was caught at mid-off, and it looked as tough Australia might run through the tail quickly. But Ishant and Saha hung in for a 16-run tenth-wicket stand that could yet prove crucial, and which ended when Ishant drove a catch to cover off the spin of Steve O’Keefe.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale
India women 121 for 5 (Raj 73*, Amin 2-24) beat Pakistan women 104 for 6 (Maroof 25, Bisht 2-22) by 17 runs
India’s dominance in the women’s Asia Cup extended as they sealed their sixth title in as many editions with a 17-run win over Pakistan in Bangkok. It was the second consecutive time India had beaten Pakistan in an Asia Cup final, having done so in 2012-13 as well. The win also ensured India remained unbeaten in this year’s tournament, which was being played in the T20 format for the second time.
It was Mithali Raj who set up the win, scoring an unbeaten 73 after India opted to bat and taking them to 121 for 5. The bowlers then sent down economical spells to choke Pakistan in the chase, restricting them to 104 for 6.
Raj dominated almost every partnership she featured in. She started off by putting on 24 for the first wicket with Smriti Mandhana, who contributed just 6. After her dismissal, it was the turn of Sabbhineni Meghana to play second fiddle as she made 9 in a second-wicket stand of 44. Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, the India captain, were also sent back for single-digit scores, before Jhulan Goswami’s late cameo lifted India. Goswami pinged two sixes on her way to a 10-ball 17 before perishing off the penultimate ball of the innings. Raj had struck seven fours and a six in her 65-ball knock.
Left-arm spinner Anam Amin topped the wickets column with 2 for 24 in four overs, while Sana Mir and Sadia Yousuf were economical in their respective quotas and took a wicket apiece.
Pakistan scored at nearly a run a ball during the first half of the chase, but lost three wickets. Goswami had Ayesha Zafar bowled in the fifth over before Asmavia Iqbal fell in similar fashion in the next over, sent down by Shikha Pandey. Javeria Khan added 28 with captain Bismah Maroof, but could not make her start count as she was snuffed out by Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner, and Pakistan became 56 for 3. That third-wicket stand was the highest Pakistan could manage as regular wickets stalled them. Nida Dar and Mir made identical scores of 12 not out in late resistance, but both were kept quiet – neither scored a single boundary – as Pakistan fell short.
India convincingly beat hosts Thailand by nine wickets, registering their second win in a row in Match 3 of the Women’s Asia Cup T20 at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground, in Bangkok, on Sunday. Skipper and opener Harmanpreet Kaur was the top scorer with 35 runs, while fellow opener Sabbhineni Meghana remained unbeaten on 29.Wicketkeeper-batswoman Sushma Verma remained unbeaten on three, while Thailand’s skipper Sornnarin Tippoch claimed the only wicket that fell in the Indian innings. Harmanpreet was the only batter to be dismissed, with Tippoch returning with the figures of 1 for 17. India are now just a couple of wins away from sealing the final spot from the remaining three games. FULL Cricket Updates, IND vs THA, ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20, Match 3 at Bangkok.
Earlier, minnows Thailand set a small target of just 70 for big guns India in the Match 3. Thailand’s Ratanaporn Padunglerd was the top scorer with 20 runs, while Mansi Joshi claimed a couple of wickets for just eight runs. Previously, Thailand skipper Sornnarin Tippoch won the coin toss and elected to bat first, while the Indian bowlers gave a perfect start to their game, as they claimed the opening couple of wickets in quick succession, carrying the confidence after they beat Bangladesh in the opening game on Saturday.
Thailand finished on a mere total of 69 for the loss of 5 wickets, thus setting India a mere target of just 70 runs to wrap the game up. Brief scores: Thailand Women 69 for 5 in 20 overs (Ratanaporn Padunglerd 20; Mansi Joshi 2 for 8) vs India Women 70 for 1 in 11.1 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 35, Sabbhineni Meghana 29*; Sornnarin Tippoch 1 for 17) by 9 wickets. Full Updates (Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)