Day three of the World Cup saw both India and Australian maintain their 100% starts in the competition, beating Pakistan and Ireland respectively. Thankfully there was no return of the rain which had caused the England Sri Lanka match to be abandoned on the previous day without a ball being bowled.
However, both Women’s World T20 games had an element of controversy about them because both Pakistan and Ireland were penalised runs for the unusual reason of their batsmen running down the middle of the pitch.
Some commentators and former players have now called for the rules to be revised because it makes it hard to play slow spin effectively from the crease.
In the first match of the day, India beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in Guyana. Put into bat, Pakistan soon slumped to 30 -3, but a 94-run partnership between Bismah Mahroof and Nida Dar revived the innings with both women scoring half-centuries, although India were guilty of dropping no fewer than 5 catches, something that they will need to improve upon.
Pakistan, though, breached the “running down the pitch” rule twice, effectively gifting India 10 runs, in their chase of Pakistan’s total of 133. They reached their target with an over to spare, with Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhava putting on 73 for the first wicket. After Mandhava fell for 26, Raj went on to complete her half century, as her side eased home.
Australia versus Ireland was a mismatch on paper between arguably the competition’s strongest and weakest teams, and so it proved in practice as Australia won by 9 wickets with more than 10 overs to spare.
Batting first, Ireland got off to a decent start through Clare Shillington and Cecilia Joyce but, once both fell in quick order, wickets tumbled regularly, and only a 41 partnership between Laura Delaney and Kim Garth enabled the Irish to get anywhere near respectability. However, 93 – 6 was hardly setting Australia a tough target to chase, even before another 5 run penalty was taken into account, and so it proved.
In the event Australia cruised to victory, with Alyssa Healy hitting an unbeaten 56, with the Irish bowlers claiming the solitary wicket of Beth Mooney.