Guangzhou, China: India have beaten Pakistan by 18 runs in a low-scoring final to lift the Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup at the Guanggong International Cricket Stadium in Guangzhou, the venue for the 2010 Asian Games.
Defending a total of just 81 after a poor batting performance, India’s bowlers took pace off the ball and skittled the opposition out for 63 in 19.1 overs. Each of the six Indian bowlers used on a very sluggish surface put themselves into the wickets’ column, with Archana Das (2 for 12) and Nagarajan Niranjana (2 for 15) the most successful.
For Pakistan, captain Sana Mir was instrumental in setting the team what appeared an achievable target with figures of 4 for 13. However, Pakistan’s reply was a tame one as only three players made it to double-figures.
India remained unbeaten in the Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup, having earlier beaten Pakistan by eight wickets in a league match.
Electing to bat first, Indian women did not have an good beginning as they lost both their openers within the first couple of overs. Anuja Patil was the first one to get dismissed by Sadia Yousuf. Sulakshana Naik soon followed suit to leave India tottering at 2 for 4.
Poonam Raut (25) and stand-in skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (20) tried to resurrect the innings. The duo mixed caution with aggression to raise 32 runs for the third wicket before Poonam fell prey to tweaker Bismah Maroof. With Amita Sharma returning to the dugout in a hurry, Harmanpreet joined hands with Reema Malhotra (18) to take the Indian innings ahead. However, the two couldn't do much as skipper was made to pay for her impetuosity by leg-spinner Sana Mir.
Indian tail couldn't offer much as it was bundled out for just 81. Mona Meshram was the last casualty, playing the last ball of the innings straight down to long on.
"So happy for the girls even though I'm disappointed not to have played because of my [injured] ankle. Winning this Asia Cup is a great achievement and what's been special is how our team has become like a family over the years, everyone contributes and plays for each other," said an elated skipper Mithali Raj, who could not be a part of the team on Wednesday.