India took on their arch-rivals Pakistan in their group match at the Commonwealth Games 2022 at Edgbaston on Sunday (July 31). Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first.
Despite losing Iram Javed’s wicket in the second over of the match, opener Muneeba Ali batted sensibly and gave her team a good start. She was eventually dismissed after scoring 32 off 30 balls in the 9th over. After that, the Pakistan team lost 7 wickets while adding just 48 runs to the board before being bundled out for just 99.
Renuka Singh, Shafali Verma, and Meghna Singh took one wicket each, while Sneh Rana and Radha Yadav returned with two scalps.
The Women in Blue chased down the target with utmost ease with opener Smriti Mandhana scoring a magnificent half-century (63* off 42 balls).
Mandhana remarked after the game that the bowlers were the standout performers.
"First of all the star performers were our bowlers. They bowled extremely well to restrict them to hundred and for me. For us batters it was easy for us to go there and chase a total with under six runs per over. So it was one of those days where I played my shots and came off," she said.
"We looked at it as a very important match because we wanted that two points on the board. We know that we needed to win the Pakistan match as well as the Barbados match to qualify. Happy that we got the two points at the end," she added.
The 26-year-old responded that the hype is typically among the fans and not the players when asked about the greater intensity of the India-Pakistan game.
"The people have little more emotions around the game than us players. This is an international match and whenever we go out there, we want to win every match, whenever we wear this jersey, we want to go out there and win every match for India," she said.
"The way people make the match big, I think for us players it is important to remain grounded and focus on the basics and try and do what I can do, rather than thinking this is an India-Pakistan match. All that things, I don't think it helps," she stated further.
Mandhana revealed that she would be watching India's women's hockey team matches when asked which other Indian team she would most like to watch in the games in Birmingham.
"We will be keen to go and watch the Indian women's hockey team play."
(INDIA TODAY INPUTS)