Millennium Post

India to face Bangladesh in quest for 7th women's Asia Cup title

Kuala Lumpur: Bangladesh outclassed hosts Malaysia by 70 runs in their final league tie to set their date with six-time champions India in the summit clash of the women's Asia Cup at the Kinrara Academy Oval here on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, India dished out a clinical performance to hammer arch-rivals Pakistan by seven wickets and enter their seventh straight final.

Going into the final, India will be wary of Bangladesh's prowess, having lost to them in the league stages and would aim to avenge the humiliation en-route to their seventh consecutive title.

Against the Pakistanis, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side had a rather easy outing barring the tricky chase that saw them lose two wickets with just five runs on the board.

Electing to bat, Pakistan folded up for a meagre 72/7 with Sana Mir (20 not out) and Nahida Khan (18) managing to reach the double figures in a lacklustre batting effort.

In response, Harmanpreet (34 not out) and her deputy Smriti Mandhana (38) steered India to a comfortable victory with 23 balls to spare after starting on a shaky note.

Earlier, left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht spun a web around the Pakistanis with three wickets, and was well assisted by the other Indian bowlers who stuck to a disciplined effort.

During their chase, India got off to a forgettable start, losing former skipper Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma for ducks with the scoreboard ticking 5/2.

But thereafter the defending champions did not look back as the left-right combo of Smriti and Harmanpreet forged a brilliant 65-run third wicket stand to take the side within sniffing distance of victory.

Later in the day, Bangladesh rode on a collective batting effort to score 130/4 after electing to bat. In reply, the hosts could manage a paltry 60/9 in their 20 overs.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 72/7 (Sana Mir 20 not out, Nahida Khan 18; Ekta Bisht 3/14) lose to India 75/3 (Smriti Mandhana 38, Harmanpreet Kaur 34 not out) by 7 wickets.

Bangladesh 130/4 (Shamima Sultana 43, Ayasha Rahman 31; Winifred Duraisingam 2/19) beat Malaysia 60/9 (Winifred Duraisingam 17, Mas Elysa 14; Rumana Ahmed 3/8) by 70 runs.

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