Pakistan picked up regular wickets to pile the pressure onto India but Jemimah Rodrigues is leading India’s fight in the run chase.
Richa Ghosh raced off to 31 not out in 20 balls to combine with half-centurion Jemimah Rodrigues to give India an excellent win in Cape Town as they gunned down 150 with an over to spare.
At the onset, Shafali Verma was partnered by Yastika Bhatia at the top with Smriti Mandhana out injured.
The duo put on 38 for the opening wicket before Yastike was dismissed by Sadia Iqbal in the final over of the Powerplay.
Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues rebuilt, but Pakistan struck in the 10th over when Sidra Amin pulled off a stunning catch close to the ropes to send back Verma.
While Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah fought back for a bit, Nashra Sandhu sent back Kaur in the 14th over to give Pakistan a massive boost. But Richa and Jemimah took over from there to lead India to a brilliant win.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first in Cape Town, but lost opener Javeria Khan to Deepti Sharma in the second over.
Bismah Maroof and Muneeba Ali took the attack to Deepti to help Pakistan to 39/1 at the end of the Powerplay, their highest against India in the first six overs in women’s T20Is.
However, Radha Yadav struck soon after with the wicket of Muneeba and Pooja Vastrakar sent back Nida Dar for a duck to put India back on top.
The in-form Sidra Amin joined Maroof in the middle and the duo put on 25 for the fourth wicket before a freak dismissal saw Amin dismissed by Radha.
Ayesha Naseem’s entry added impetus to Pakistan’s innings as she raced off the blocks with some lusty blows. Maroof held one end up as Ayesha charged from the other to lift Pakistan past the 100-run mark in the 16th over.
Maroof completed her fifty soon after as the duo put on a partnership that pushed India onto the back foot. The unbeaten 81-run stand helped Pakistan to 149/4 at the end of 20 overs. The last five overs yielded 58 runs as Pakistan gave India a stiff target.
Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful venues in the world, being overlooked by Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.
The tournament opener between Sri Lanka and South Africa took place here with the hosts losing to the Asian team by three runs. The pitch was conducive to spin in the contest with the Sri Lankan spinners tying down the South African batters, something that could decide the contest between these Asian giants.