July 03, 2017 08:08 AM

Derby : Ekta Bisht has made a habit of tormenting Pakistan in 2017. She took five for 18 on Sunday as India made it three from three in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 with a 95-run over its rival in Derby.
The left-arm spinner had taken five for eight when the teams met in February during the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Colombo, and after three wickets opening the bowling, she nearly matched those figures here.

Pakistan had never beaten India in an ODI before and despite a fine bowling performance that record continued following Bisht’s heroics. Having made 169-9 after electing to bat, India looked under pressure, but the bowlers quickly showed that was more than enough, racing through the Pakistani batting line-up to move within touching distance of the semi-finals. Captain Mithali Raj gave credit to Bisht, saying: “Ekta has always delivered when she has been given the challenge of the new ball.

“She’s delivered time and again for India and I’m very proud of her. Her spell was so crucial. She gave us the heads up with the wickets in her first spell that got the team back into it.
“When we reached 170 I knew that it could be anybody’s game. We just needed those early breakthroughs so that we were in it.”

India had lost in-form opener Smriti Mandhana for just two in the fourth over and found it hard to get going.
While Poonam Raut and Deepti Sharma put on 67, they were never able to cut loose, scoring at just over three an over before Raut became the first of Nashra Sundhu’s four victims on a career-best day for the off-spinner. There was no reason to panic at that point, but when Raj and Sharma fell in the same over with just 94 on the board, India was under pressure. Nashra, Sana Mir and Sadia Yousaf proved virtually impossible to get away with their spin, while opening bowler Diana Baig was outstanding in the field.

A partnership of 34 between wicket-keeper Sushma Verma and Jhulan Goswami helped India finish strongly, with Verma getting an invaluable 33 to push India to 169-9. Pakistan’s chase was derailed immediately by Bisht, who was unplayable opening the bowling. She took three for four in her first spell, as Pakistan was reduced to 26 for six after 15 overs. Opener Bibi Nahida (23) and skipper Sana (29) provided resistance but India’s total was never threatened, with Bisht returning to mop up the tail. Pakistan captain Sana said: “This has been our best bowling performance against India in ODIs. In the last few overs we leaked 10 or 20 runs, but otherwise it was a very good bowling performance. With a better batting performance we could have had a better game.

“Diana Baig brings a spark to the team (in the field), she’s a wonderful athlete and the way she bowled, as a captain I’m very proud. “Nashra was our key bowler in the qualifiers before coming to the World Cup and again she proved to be really good today. “I think the top order played too many cross-bat shots and against a good bowling line-up, there’s no future if you play cross-bat shots.”
Scores in brief:

India beat Pakistan by 95 runs at The County Ground, Derby India 169-9 in 50 overs (Poonam Raut 47, Sushma Verma 33, Deepti Sharma 28; Nashra Sundhu 4-26, Sadia Yousaf 2-30, Diana Baig 1-28) Pakistan 74 all out in 38.1 overs (Sana Mir 29, Bibi Nahida 23; Ekta Bisht 5-18, Mansi Joshi 2-9, Harmanpreet Kaur 1-6, Jhulan Goswami 1-12) Player of the match – Ekta Bisht (India) Next matches – India v Sri Lanka, The County Ground, Derby, 5 July; Pakistan v Australia, Grace Road, Leicester, 5 July,

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