India skipper Mithali Raj said she knew it would not be easy for Pakistan to chase down 170 as the pitch deteriorated in the second innings during their ICC Women's World Cup match. Batting first, India suffered a batting collapse before reaching 169 for nine and Mithali praised Sushma Verma and Jhulan Goswami for their lower-order contributions.
"When you lose the first wicket in first 10 overs, it naturally puts us on the backfoot. Though there were decent partnerships but there were two back-to-back wickets so we were on the backfoot," Mithali told reporters after the match.
"The advice or suggestion that we gave to the batters was to play until the 40th over but unfortunately again we lost wickets and in the end, we had Sushma and Jhulan, those runs were crucial because it got us to 170 and we were looking for that score when we lost the top 4.
"When we reached 170, I knew it was just a matter of taking those early breakthroughs because no matter how good a chasing team, there is always the pressure of a good start even if you are chasing 150. The wicket did deteriorate later on because the spinners did get a lot of turn," she added.
Mithali said they would reflect on their batting collapse and come back stronger in the upcoming matches.
"It is important to continue the momentum but it is again not every day that same batters will score runs and I am happy that someone has stood up to get those runs," she said.
"It is important that we got this opportunity to reflect on our batting order because the next matches are equally important for the team."
Her counterpart Sana Mir was happy with Pakistan's bowling effort but rued their poor batting performance, which according to her cost them the match.
"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," she said.
"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 (Sandhu) 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-batted shots and against a good bowling line-up, there's no future if you play cross-batted shots," Sana said.
India will take on Sri Lanka in their next game here, while Pakistan will face Australia at Leicester on Wednesday