KARACHI: All-rounder Asmavia Iqbal led the way as Pakistan Women began their preparations for the World Twenty20 with an impressive win over Sri Lanka Women in Colombo on Saturday.
Pakistan, playing their only warm up game before the tournament gets underway on September 26, recorded a four-wicket win over the hosts at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground in the capital.
Sri Lanka managed 76-8 in their 20 overs, with captain Shashikala Sriwardene’s 38 runs being the only score of note as Asmavia cleaned up the Lankan top order with figures of 4-11 in her four overs. Lower-order batter Sripali Weerakkody (10*) was the only other player to get in to double figures for the home team. Left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf also chipped in for Pakistan, getting two wickets for 10 runs in her three overs and the experienced Nida Dar took one wicket in her three overs.
Pakistan stuttered in their reply, as opener Qanita Jalil (4) was removed in the second over by Sri Lankan pacer Chamani Senevirtana. Pakistan’s captain Sana Mir hit three fours in her 18-run innings before being bowled out by Sriwardene in the seventh over. Pakistan lost another wicket in the next over when star batter Bismah Maroof fell to Sandamali Dolawatte’s leg-break bowling for five runs.
It was then up to Nain Abidi (13), Nida Dar (10) and Asmavia (13*) to take Pakistan home with 16 balls to spare.
While the women in green were impressive with their bowling, they failed get good batting practice with a small target in sight.
Pakistan open their Women’s World T20 campaign on September 27 against England. Their other Group ‘A’ matches will be against Australia (September 29) and India (October 1).
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals (October 4 and 5). The final will be played on Sunday, October 7 at the R. Premadasa Stadium before the men’s final.
Below is a Dawn.com exclusive video as we join the women’s team at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and the Southend Club in Karachi and bring to light their journey so far, with all the trials and tribulations. We also ask Mir and various other team members how they see their future panning out with an immediate focus on the World T20. – Video by Sara Faruqi and Hafsa Adil.