The Pakistan women cricket team made short work of a target of 169 to beat visitors Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first match of the three-match ODI series at the Southend Club Cricket Stadium in Karachi.
A 143-run stand between Sidra Ameen and Bismah Maroof, with Sidra Ameen dismissed for 76 just two runs from victory, while Bismah Maroof finished undefeated on 62, which helped Pakistan hunt down the target of 169 with 49 balls to spare.
Earlier, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 169. Leg-spinner Ghulam Fatima was the leading wicket-taker for the home side with figures of 4/21 in 10 overs.
Sri Lanka had won the toss and elected to bat first in the ODI series opener.
The tourists lost early wickets against the hosts, It might have ended a lot sooner than it ultimately did.
Sri Lanka were reeling at 96 for six, then Kavisha Dilhari came to the rescue, whose breezy, languid stroke-play helped her side pick up valuable runs, giving herself and her bowling partners a semblance of a competitive total to bowl at.
Sri Lanka tried both seam and spin, but couldn’t quite muster the discipline of those early overs. The lines were errant, the lengths failed to penetrate and the intensity simply couldn’t be cranked up. With each run, a below-par total began to look less intimidating, and for much of the last hour, it was more of a procession than a chase.
‘Aim to earn direct spot in World Cup’
Pakistan women cricket team captain Bismah Maroof is hoping to carry forward the winning momentum gained in the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
“Our aim like the rest of the sides would be to earn a direct spot in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025. The ODI squad for the series is a good blend of experience and youth,” she said while addressing a press conference after the unveiling of the series trophy in Karachi on Tuesday.
The skipper was of the view that bowling was the strength of the home side and they were focused on giving their best in the series.
‘Want to put behind T20I performances’
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu lamented that the performance in the shortest game of cricket was disappointing and wanted to focus on the ODI series.
“This is a new format and a fresh tournament for us so we will try to execute our plans properly as gaining maximum points is each side’s aim and we will be focusing on the same,” she said.
The host side captain called for playing positive cricket and improving the game in order to rise in the ICC cricket team ranking.
Pakistan ODI squad:
Bismah Maroof (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui (wicketkeeper), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper).
Sri Lanka ODI squad:
Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Achini Kulasuriya, Ama Kanchana, Anushka Sanjeewani, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Inoka Ranaweera, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Prasadani Weerakkody, Sachini Nisansala, and Sugandika Kumari.