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India cruise past Pakistan to Asia Cup final

Kuala Lumpur: India comfortably saw off Pakistan by seven wickets in the clash between the table toppers at the Women’s T20 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 9 June.
It meant India qualified for the final of the tournament. The second finalist will be decided after Bangladesh’s clash against Malaysia later in the day.
If Bangladesh win, they will finish second and go through to the final. A loss, however, will mean Pakistan qualify, thanks to their superior net run-rate.
India’s victory was down to their bowlers. Ekta Bisht returned 3/14 as Pakistan were restricted to 72/7 after they opted to bat.
The batters never quite got going. There was a wicket in the very first over, with Nain Abidi dismissed for nought by Shikha Pandey. All of Bismah Maroof (4), Javeria Khan (4) and Nida Dar (8) fell for single-digit scores, and although Nahida Khan hung around for a 27-ball 18, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
It meant Pakistan decided to slow down and accumulate. Sana Mir scored an unbeaten 38-ball 20, even as Natalia Pervaiz (3) and Sidra Nawaz (5) fell at the other end, to take the total past 70, and ensure Pakistan weren’t bowled out.
That was never going to be sufficient, although the Pakistan bowlers got off to a good start, with Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma both dismissed for nought.
Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur put on a 65-run stand, and that more or less saw to the chase.
Mandhana (38 off 40) was dismissed with three runs left by Nashra Sandhu, but that was India’s only hiccough on a dominant day. Kaur ended unbeaten on a 49-ball 34 as India finished on 75/3.

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