BIRMINGHAM: The Commonwealth Games prefer to be called the “Friendly Games,” and until Sunday even the cricket players from India and Pakistan had bought into the idea.
Because women’s cricket is making its Games debut in Birmingham, the tournament has been designed with an all-for-one pioneering camaraderie that dials down what is undoubtedly the most heated rivalry in all of sport.
Sisterhood was set aside at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, though, as India thrashed Pakistan, who remained winless and fell to the bottom of Group A rankings, while a path to the medal round opened up for the champions.
India required to win the rain-shortened game by 100 runs, and they did so with 38 balls remaining thanks to Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 63, which gave them an eight-wicket victory.
Iram Javed’s duck earlier allowed Pakistan to recover thanks to fellow opener Muneeba Ali’s 30-ball 32, but a collapse limited them to 99 in their 18 overs.
In their final Group A encounter on Wednesday against Barbados, India can seal a ticket in the semifinals, while Pakistan’s narrow chances of moving on depend on a win over Australia and a big help in the tiebreaker situations.
In the final four, two teams from Group B, which consists of England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand, will join the top two teams in the group.