Ekta Bisht, left, celebrates after claiming one of her five wickets ©ICC

India ended up cruising past rivals Pakistan here today as they continued their fine run in the International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup on a day where all eight teams chasing the title played.

Already with two wins under their belts, the Indians produced a 95 run victory to maintain their 100 per cent record at the tournament being hosted in England, while Pakistan have now lost all three of their matches in the group stage so far.

While the match may have not quite lived up to the hype that games between these neighbouring nations bring with them, the atmosphere in the crowd was quite unlike anything so far seen in this tournament.

It was vibrant, exuberant and full of the spirit of the game and must also have come as a mighty relief to tournament organisers after the same ground had witnessed a complete wash-out of one match last week.

The spectators, many of whom were wrapped in the respective flag of their team and holding drums, whistles and anything that made a noise, were praised by the players.

“We don’t get to see that very often in women’s cricket,” said India’s skipper Mithali Raj.

“But sometimes in the circle you could not really hear.

“I don’t know how the men do it with even bigger crowds.”

Indian fans helped provide some extra colour to the game ©Philip Barker
Indian fans helped provide some extra colour to the game ©Philip Barker

Raj had earlier won the toss and chosen to bat, but her team suffered an early setback as opener Smriti Mandhana, arguably the star of the tournament so far, was trapped leg-before-wicket for two by Diana Baig, prompting a conga to be formed by jubilant Pakistan fans.

Runs were proving desperately hard to come by and by the end of the first 10 overs, India had just 17 to their name, with three maidens in a row from Baig keeping them down.

Although the flow of the scoreboard did begin to pick up, the fluency of the batting was never quite there for the Indians and with 10 overs left, they were on 114-6, with 19 boundary-less overs.

Wicket-keeper Sushma Verma did manage to send the ball to the ropes four times, including a six, towards the back-end of the innings with her knock of 33 and by the end of it, India had posted 169-9, their lowest One-Day International score against their rivals.

Their top scorer was Poonam Raut with 47 while Nashra Sundhu finished with bowling figures of four for 26.

It was a modest total to chase for Pakistan, but a top order collapse dampen their chances and the spirits of their passionate supporters.

Taking the new ball was spinner Ekta Bisht and this proved to be pivotal as she picked up two wickets in three overs as Pakistan went to 9-3, before falling even more in trouble on 26-6.

Bisht ended up taking five wickets for 18 as India bowled their opponents out for 74 in 38.1 overs.

Perhaps the most intriguing scorecard of the day came at Grace Road in Leicester.

South Africa confirmed their credentials by beating the West Indies by 10 wickets after bowling the current World Twenty20 champions out for just 48.

South Africa romped to victory after bowling the West Indies out for 48 ©ICC
South Africa romped to victory after bowling the West Indies out for 48 ©ICC

Dane van Niekerk was the pick of the bowlers as she finished with four wickets at the cost of no runs.

Her colleague Marizanne Kapp also took four wickets, conceding 14 runs in the process.

It took just 6.2 overs to complete the win.

Despite half centuries from skipper Suzie Bates, making her 100th ODI appearance for her country, and Katie Perkins, New Zealand could only make 219 against tournament leaders Australia at the Country Ground in Bristol.

Ellyse Perry’s 71 guided the reigning champions home to a five-wicket victory.

At the Country Ground in Taunton, England’s Laura Marsh took four for 45 as Sri Lanka could only total 204 in their 50 overs.

A superb third wicket stand of 148 from skipper Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor took England to the brink of victory.

Knight made 82 and Taylor was unbeaten on 74.

The next set of matches will take place on Wednesday (July 5).