Women's World Cup Qualifiers February 19, 2017

Pakistan Women secure WC qualification despite crushing defeat

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ekta Bisht led India's demolition job with career-best figures of 5 for 8 © International Cricket Council

Pakistan Women 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 her 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 reducing them to 23 for 2. Opening batsman Deepti Sharma then steered the chase with a 42-run third-wicket stand with Kaur, who became Yousuf's second victim when she was caught by Zafar with just three needed. Five balls later, Veda Krishnamurthy closed out the game with a four off left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu as India's innings ended the same way it began.

Sri Lanka Women also secured their spot in the World Cup after a 42-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method in their last Super Six tie against Bangladesh Women in a rain-affected tie in Colombo. Chamari Atapattu hit 84 at the top to help Sri Lanka to 197 for 9 in their 50 overs. In reply, Bangladesh, chasing a revised target of 111, could only reach 68 for 5 in their allotted 21 overs.

Atapattu walked out with Sri Lanka 39 for 1 in the 11th over and started off with a half-century stand with Hasini Perera. After Perera's dismissal for 32, the onus fell on Atapattu to build Sri Lanka's innings. Atapattu nearly hung around till the end of the innings, before Salma Khatun took her out in the first ball of the 49th over. Sri Lanka could only collect four runs from the 11 remaining balls as they fell short of the 200-mark.

Bangaldesh used seven bowlers, six of whom were among the wickets. Khatun was the pick of the lot, striking thrice and giving away just 18 runs in nine overs.

Bangladesh began poorly in the chase, with Udeshika Prabodhani and Inoka Ranaweera reducing them to 25 for 3 in the eighth over. Nigar Sultana (24) and Shaila Sharmin (21) made contributions, but a double strike from Inoshi Priyadharshani in the 15th over hurt Bangladesh and they finished well short of the target.

Rain affected proceedings at the Colombo Cricket Ground too where South Africa Women came out on top by 36 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method against Ireland Women. South Africa's win was set up by a strong bowling performance that helped them bowl out Ireland for 166 in 49.5 overs. South Africa were 82 for 1 in 21 overs in their reply when rain stopped play. South Africa needed to be 47 for 1 at that stage, and with play never resuming, they emerged comfortable winners and secured second spot in the Super Six table.

All seven of the bowlers used by South Africa chipped in with wickets as Ireland's innings never got going. Cecilia Joyce struck 29 at the top of the order. Isobel Joyce and Gaby Lewis got off to starts with knocks of 30 and 21 respectively, but most of the rest largely failed to impress. That Ireland got to 166 was down to wicketkeeper Mary Waldron's unbeaten 33 at No. 8, and her last-wicket partnership of 43 with Ciara Metcalfe, who contributed just 10.

Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus and Dane van Niekerk took two wickets each for South Africa.

Kim Garth snuffed out Lee for 14 in the third over, after which Laura Wolvaardt and Mignon du Preez got together for an unbroken second-wicket stand of 59. When the rain came down, Wolvaardt was unbeaten on 32 and du Preez was not out on 29.

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • imran on February 20, 2017, 10:18 GMT

    Well done girls.. keep it up

  • Anushka on February 20, 2017, 8:17 GMT

    @scandalboy, Pakistan is still to win an ODI India in women's cricket.

    @Shabby1664, well played to Pakistan girls on qualifying for the World Cup but India was not playing in their backyard. This qualification tournament is taking place in Sri Lanka.

    For me, the find of the tournament for India has been Mansi Joshi. A very decent medium-fast bowler who will be effective in England during the WC. She along with Jhulan and Shikha will be a formidable trio on pace-friendly wickets. Those three along with Mithali, Harmanpreet, Ekta, Sushma, and Smriti (if she is fit) will be the key players for India.

    However, the fitness levels of many of the girls are below par. Mona, Deepti, and Devika need to learn to rotate the strike more. Harmanpreet throws her wicket away to harmless balls. Veda continues to be inconsistent. Sushma still doesn't exude confidence with the bat.

    Good luck for the final against SA.

  • sachit on February 20, 2017, 4:04 GMT

    Tad disappointing by SL - the surprise package during the last WC. They did qualify but given the fact that they were playing at home - a top 2 finish would have been expected. Unless they improve drastically it's difficult to see a performance like 2013 this years WC specially since they're playing in England.

  • Ehsan on February 20, 2017, 4:00 GMT

    @EspnFan59, one word that would be new for you, overall head to head record :p

  • rashid4861369 on February 20, 2017, 2:24 GMT

    We need to support these young ladies. Its not fair that these pakistani atheletes r being bashed for playing not very well against Indians. How could they beat them; Induans were playing in their backyard. Away from home every cricketer is vunerable. Well done Pak girls. Proud of you.

  • J on February 19, 2017, 20:40 GMT

    Disappointing from Pakistan. That was their 10th lowest ODI total, their worst since they were bowled out for 57 (by India) at the 2009 World Cup.

    I thought this might be a closer contest as Pakistan came into the match with the two highest run scorers in the competition (Javeria Khan & Nahida Khan) but when they went early they never looked like recovering.

    India have looked stronger with each passing game. They looked a bit subdued early in the competition but today they were well-marshaled in the field by Raj and took some excellent catches.

    The star of the show was of course Ekta Bisht. She's the 2nd fastest Indian woman to reach 50 ODI wickets (Purnima Rau took 31 matches to Bisht's 34). Her 5-8 was also the 10th instance in women's ODIs of a 5-fer being taken for fewer than 10 runs (five of these hauls have been taken against Pakistan). Bisht also earned her 50th ODI maiden today and this was the 3rd time in her career that she's bowled 5+ maidens in an ODI innings

  • albatr6118503 on February 19, 2017, 18:15 GMT

    India defeats Pakistan again, so what else is new?

  •   cricfan50319110 on February 19, 2017, 17:33 GMT

    Poor show by Pakistan Ladies. They didn't deserve to be qualified for WC

  • Box on February 19, 2017, 16:32 GMT

    Good that in easy chases, Mithali chooses to give others more time at the wicket rather than chase records herself. Outstanding. It appears that India is somewhat on a rotation policy to give exposure to multiple team members. After Tirush's century, I was hoping for more game time for her. She has a low strike rate as does DB Sharme, but they don't throw their wickets away. Despite this, it would be nice to get them to improve their strike rate. I would have also preferred to have Veda come ahead of Harmanpreet in this match as well as the previou match.

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