Asia Cup T20: Harmanpreet Kaur's all-round show steers Indian women to five-wicket win over Pakistan

Indian women's team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur snared two crucial wickets and scored an unbeaten 26 to help her team beat Pakistan in a high-octane match in the ongoing Women's T20 Asia Cup.

Ekta Bisht and Harmanpreet Kaur shared five wickets between them and veteran batsman Mithali Raj scored a gritty 36 as Indian women’s team beat Pakistan by five wickets in the ongoing Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in Bangkok on Tuesday. India are now on top of the points table followed by Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Winning the toss and opting to bowl, Indian women bowled tight to restrict arch-rivals to a modest 97 for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Ekta Bisht was the most successful bowler, giving away 20 runs for her three wickets. However, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur took two crucial wickets of Iram Javed and Nida Dar to deny Pakistan any chance of scoring a mammoth total.

Beginning the chase, India had a poor start as opener Smriti Mandhana departed early with the score reading 27. However, Mithali Raj held the fort with a patient knock even as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. Once again, Kaur rushed to the occasion and scored an unbeaten knock of 26, steering the team to victory after Raj departed. She won the man-of-the-match award for her all-round performance. With the win, India managed to avenge the defeat in the hands of Pakistan at the women’s World T20 in Delhi in February this year.

Earlier, the Indian women lost six points after they refused to play Pakistan between August 1 and October 31 as per the ICC World Championship. India’s decision of not playing against Pakistan comes in wake of heightened political tensions between the neighbours in recent times.