PAKISTAN Women cricket team qualified for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in England despite being demolished by India Women by seven wickets at Colombo’s P Sara Oval. Ekta Bisht’s career-best returns of 5 for 8 in 10 overs toppled Pakistan for 67. India required just 22.3 overs to chase down the target, with seven wickets in hand, and finished the Super Six stage as table toppers. Before Bisht, it was Shikha Pandey, the new-ball bowler, who set the tone for Pakistan’s slide after Mithali Raj decided to bowl under overcast conditions. Pandey removed the in-form Nahida Khan and Javeria Khan for single-digit scores. Pakistan were 30 for 2 after 10 overs when Bisht struck for the first time, off her very first ball, trapping Ayesha Zafar lbw for her 50th ODI scalp. Zafar had made 19.
Apart from Zafar, only Bismah Maroof got into double figures before Pakistan folded in the 44th over. Bisht had ample support. Pandey took 2 for 9 from seven overs, while spinners Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma and Devika Vaidya picked up a wicket apiece. India’s innings began in bright fashion, with a boundary off the very first ball, but they quickly stuttered with Sana Mir and Sadia Yousuf reduscing them to 23 for 2. But opening batsman Deepti Sharma steered the chase with a 42-run third-wicket stand with Harmanpreet Kaur. Kaur became Yousuf’s second victim when she was caught by Zafar with just three needed. But Veda Krisnamurthy closed out the game with a four off left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu as India’s innings ended the same way it began. The four qualifying teams – India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan – will be joined by England, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies in the World Cup which begins in June in England.