Smriti Mandhana leads India to comfortable T20 win over Pakistan at Commonwealth Games

Opener hits unbeaten fifty to guide team to eight-wicket win in women's competition

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India dominated neighbours Pakistan with bat and ball in the Commonwealth Games women's T20 tournament to seal a comfortable eight-wicket win at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Batting first, Pakistan could only muster 99 with opener Muneeba Ali making 32. Sneh Rana and Radha Yadav took two wickets apiece but it was India's fielding the was the most impactful, resulting in three run-outs.

The total never bothered India's batters as Smriti Mandhana's unbeaten 63 carried India to the finish line with 38 balls remaining.

There had been doubts over whether the match would even happen as wet and grey weather hung over Birmingham. However, an 18-over match was possible as the weather relented.

India were beaten in the competition's opening match against world champions Australia on Friday, so knew a victory over their rivals was vital.

Opener Muneeba managed 32 off 30 balls for Pakistan, but lacked meaningful support. India's Shafali Verma provided one of the highlights of the first innings as she got down low to take an extremely difficult caught-and-bowled chance off Fatima Sana.

Pakistan were all out off the final ball as Kainat Imtiaz was bowled by Radha for two.

India raced to 61 before losing the wicket of Shafali for 16, and Mandhana's eight fours and three sixes eased them home, with a final boundary off Sana sealing the win.

The match was played in a cordial environment as Pakistan and India fans mingled freely.

In India's previous match, Ashleigh Gardner rescued favourites Australia as women's T20 cricket made its Commonwealth Games debut at Edgbaston.

The reigning 20 and 50-over world champions' top order faltered in reply to India's 154-8, with Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning among those to lose their wickets cheaply.

But Gardner steadied Australia with an unbeaten 52 off 35 balls, as leg-spinner Alana King hit the winning runs off Deepti Sharma to seal a three-wicket win with an over to spare.

Updated: July 31, 2022, 4:05 PM