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India lift sixth Asia Cup title after Raj's unbeaten 73

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India's dominance in the women's Asia Cup extended as they sealed their sixth title in as many editions with a 17-run win over Pakistan in Bangkok. It was the second consecutive time India had beaten Pakistan in an Asia Cup final, having done so in 2012-13 as well. The win also ensured India remained unbeaten in this year's tournament, which was being played in the T20 format for the second time.It was Mithali Raj who set up the win, scoring an unbeaten 73 after India opted to bat and taking them to 121 for 5. The bowlers then sent down economical spells to choke Pakistan in the chase, restricting them to 104 for 6.Raj dominated almost every partnership she featured in. She started off by putting on 24 for the first wicket with Smriti Mandhana, who contributed just 6. After her dismissal, it was the turn of Sabbhineni Meghana to play second fiddle as she made 9 in a second-wicket stand of 44. Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, the India captain, were also sent back for single-digit scores, before Jhulan Goswami's late cameo lifted India. Goswami pinged two sixes on her way to a 10-ball 17 before perishing off the penultimate ball of the innings. Raj had struck seven fours and a six in her 65-ball knock.Left-arm spinner Anam Amin topped the wickets column with 2 for 24 in four overs, while Sana Mir and Sadia Yousuf were economical in their respective quotas and took a wicket apiece.Pakistan scored at nearly a run a ball during the first half of the chase, but lost three wickets. Goswami had Ayesha Zafar bowled in the fifth over before Asmavia Iqbal fell in similar fashion in the next over, sent down by Shikha Pandey. Javeria Khan added 28 with captain Bismah Maroof, but could not make her start count as she was snuffed out by Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner, and Pakistan became 56 for 3. That third-wicket stand was the highest Pakistan could manage as regular wickets stalled them. Nida Dar and Mir made identical scores of 12 not out in late resistance, but both were kept quiet - neither scored a single boundary - as Pakistan fell short.India's bowlers shared the wickets around. Bisht, who opened the bowling, took 2 for 22. Anuja Patil, Goswami, Pandey and Preeti Bose took a wicket apiece.
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