Galle: The familiar batting woes came back to haunt the Indian women's team as it lost by a run against arch-rivals Pakistan in a low-scoring thriller to finish winless in the ICC World Twenty20 Group stage here on Monday. Set a target of a mere 98 runs, the Indian women fumbled miserably to finish 97 for eight in their 20 overs to draw a blank in their Group A engagements and will now have to play hosts Sri Lanka on Wednesday to remain a part of the event in 2014.
It was a sort of revenge for Pakistan after their men's team was thoroughly outplayed by the arch-rivals last night in the same event. The Pakistani women managed to do what their male counterparts could not do against India last night - keep it cool under pressure and emerge triumphant.
Despite Monday's win, the Pakistani women also failed to qualify for the semi-finals as they finished third in the four-team group ahead of India.
Electing to bat, the Pakistani eves' batting was no better than India with wickets falling at regular intervals. Skipper Sana Mir top-scored with a 38-ball 26, including two fours. Barring Nain Abidi (25) and Asmavia Iqbal (10) none of the other batters managed to hit the double-digit mark with extras (14) being the third-highest score in the Pakistani innings.
The Indian bowlers put up a remarkable show, picking up wickets as well as drying out the runs. Pacer Jhulan Goswami, in fact, delivered a rare maiden over, conceding just 16 runs in her four overs which fetched two wickets. Rasanara Parwin and Anuja Patil also clinched two wickets apiece, giving away 15 and 16 runs respectively in their spells.
But the batters continued with their flop show to make the bowling performance irrelevant in the final analysis. Scoring never looked easy and even though the Pakistani pace duo of Sadia Yousuf (0 for 19) and Qanita Jalil (1 for 9) did not take too many wickets, they kept a tight leash over the pace of scoring.
Despite India being four down for 51, it never seemed that the team would not be able to chase down the target. In fact Jhulan, who top-scored with a 24-ball 21, looked to be steering India to a win at 83 for 5 after spinner Nada Dir had wrecked the middle order to grab 3 for 12.
But her dismissal at the hands of Bismah Maroof triggered another disturbing collapse, during which hopes of an Indian women kept fluctuating.
Needing four off the last ball, the Indians ended up heartbroken when Nagarajan Niranjana (9) fell short of her crease as Asmavia Iqbal, wicketkeeper Batool Fatima and Sana Mir kept their cool to run her out and give Pakistan a memorable win.
Pakistan will take on South Africa in their playoff encounter to stay in the 2014 World Twenty20.
Pakistan: 98 for 9 in 20 overs (Sana Mir 26; Jhulan Goswami 2 for 16)
India: 97 for 8 (Jhulan Goswami 21; Nida Dar 3 for 12)