Sidra, Muneeba, Fatima star as Pakistan sew up ODI series against Sri Lanka


An imperious top-order batting performance from Sidra Ameen and Muneeba Ali, backed up by a four-wicket haul by Fatima Sana, helped Pakistan to another rout of Sri Lanka by 73 runs, and a wrap of the ODI series with a game to spare.

The victory was spearheaded by a sensational 123 by Ameen – her second ODI century – as part of a record 158-run opening stand with Muneeba. Ameen’s 150-ball knock was complemented by a more sedate 100-ball 56 from her partner, before cameos from Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar ensured Pakistan finished with a strong 253 for 2. Sri Lanka, in response, never got into top gear and seemed content to put together a respectable total as they huffed and puffed their way to 180 for 9 in their 50 overs.

A somewhat enterprising start to the chase im-mediately ran into problems once Sana removed Hasini Perera for 14. While most Sri Lankan batters put together steady contributions, Pakistan’s chances of victory were rarely threatened.

The story though could have been different. Opting to bat first for the first time this series, Paki-stan enjoyed a huge reprieve when Ameen was put down at the slips before scoring a run. It was an error she ensured Sri Lanka regretted for the next three hours. A chanceless century would follow thereon, with runs ticking over and a solid platform being built, and it felt, in slow motion, as if Sri Lanka were being batted out of the contest.

Muneeba, too, was reprieved once, when a sharp caught-and-bowled chance was dropped by Kavisha Dilhari. Brief scorecard: Pakistan 253 for 2 (Ameen 123, Muneeba 56, Maroof 36*, Dilhari 1-43) beat Sri Lanka 180 for 9 (Madavi 41, Dilhari 32, Sana 4-26, Sohail 2-35) by 73 runs. —Agencies