Pakistan defended 215 against Bangladesh in the opening fixture of the three-ODI series that counts for the Women’s Championship, in Lahore, courtesy of a three-for by Sana Mir, who ensured opener Nahida Khan’s match-winning 68 and a collective disciplined showing from the bowling attack was not in vain in the low-scoring game.
Bangladesh’s chase began on a wobbly note as they lost their top three for a mere 41 runs inside the first Powerplay. Leading the undoing of the visitors’ line-up was Mir herself, who removed opener Murshida Khatun for 4 and No. 3 Sanjida Islam in consecutive overs, leaving Bangladesh tottering on 9 for 2. Sharmin Akhter couldn’t muster a score beyond 20 and Fargana Hogue, the No. 4 batsman, too, fell after getting into the 20s.
The want of partnerships continued to compound Bangladesh’s woes as only wicketkeeper-batsman Nigar Sultanamade a half-century for the visitors while four batsman departed after getting into the 20s. Bangladesh’s highest partnership – stitched together by Hoque and captain Rumana Ahmed for the fourth wicket – yielded only 38.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s spin trio, comprising Mir, Nashra Sandhu and debutant Sadia Iqbal, returned 7 for 115 from their combined 28.4 overs, including figures of 2 for 38 off Sadia’s allocated 10 overs of left-arm orthodox spin. Medium-pacer Diana Baig complemented the spinners with 2 for 43 off her 10 overs, helping skittle Bangladesh out for 186 in 47.4 overs.
As with the visiting side, Pakistan’s batsmen failed to play out the entire 50 overs as experienced bowling allrounder Jahanara Alam struck thrice during her 10 overs at the expense of 44 runs, dismissing two set batsmen in captain Bismah Maroof and Aliya Raiyaz for 39 and 37 respectively. However, unlike Bangladesh, the hosts, who had opted to bat, strung three fifty stands, with Player of the Match Nahida involved in two of them.
The top-scorer across sides, Nahida added 59 with Sidra Ameen for the opening stand, and then took Pakistan past 100 with a 69-run third-wicket partnership with Maroof. Nahida struck seven fours en route to her enterprising 97-ball 68 before she holed out to Ahmed off namesake Nahida Akter.
After Nahida’s dismissal in the 36th over, Umaima Sohail and Aliya Riyaz put on 53 off 50 balls during their fifth-wicket stand. However, it wasn’t long before Pakistan suffered a collapse that saw them lose 5 for 27, the departure of Mir for 2 triggering the breakdown.
The hosts folded inside 49 overs but not before they had put up a total that proved enough for them to take a 1-0 lead in series, having clinched the preceding T20I series 3-0.—Agencies