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Bismah, Sidra half-centuries earn Pakistan series win

Sidra Amin and Bismah Maroof
Sidra Amin and Bismah Maroof

Sidra Amin continues to shine with the bat and scored yet another match innings to help Pakistan sealed a 2-0 series win with a match to spare in the ICC Women’s Championship encounter against Ireland at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. After recording a comprehensive 128-run win in the first match on Friday, Sidra and Bismah unbeaten half-centuries inspired Pakistan to record a thumping nine-wicket win.

Sidra and Bismah’s batting heroics were equally supported by spinners Nashra Sundhu and Ghulam Fatima – both grabbing three wickets each.

Chasing 195 to win, opening batters Muneeba Ali and Sidra provided a 59-run start to the innings. Muneeba who scored her maiden century in the previous game scored a 33-ball 27, hitting two fours and fell to Eimear Richardson in the 12th over.

Captain Bismah joined Sidra at the crease and both batters never allowed Ireland bowlers to settle and struck boundaries at will. Sidra – who scored an unbeaten 176 in the last game, returned undefeated on 91 off 93 balls, which included 12 fours. Bismah scored a 70-ball 69, studded with 10 fours.

The pair of Bismah and Sidra added an unbroken 136 runs for the second wicket to take the side home in the 33rd over.

Earlier, after opting to bat first, Ireland were dismissed for 194 in the 48th over. Right-arm fast Fatima Sana – who will celebrate her 21st birthday on Tuesday, took the first wicket on the second ball of the match, dismissing Leah Paul for no score. Gaby Lewis was next to return back to the hut (4, 13b) courtesy fine display of fielding by Aliya Riaz whose direct hit left the tourists reeling at 27 for two in 6.1 overs.

That the tourists were managed to score 194 despite losing wickets at the regular interval was largely because of 59-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Mary Waldron and Arlene Kelly. Wicketkeeper-batter Waldron coming to bat at number seven top-scored with 35 off 57 balls, hitting two fours. Kelly – batting at number nine scored a 45-ball 34, smashing three fours.

For Pakistan, the spin twin of Fatima and Nashra bagged three wickets apiece for 32 and 41 runs, respectively. Fatima took two wickets for 26 in 8.2 overs.

Pakistan and Ireland will play the third and final ODI at the same venue on Wednesday, 9 November. The toss will take place at 0900, while the first ball will be bowled at 0930. The match will be live streamed on PCB YouTube channel.

Cricket Ireland:

Pakistan opener Sidra Ameen once again played a key hand as the home side took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the best-of-three ODI series with a nine-wicket victory over Ireland today.

Ireland captain Laura Delany won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch, however, an excellent delivery from Fatima Sana left Ireland a wicket down before registering a run on the scoreboard, Leah Paul bowled through the gate.

Amy Hunter came in and showed positive intent straight away, smashing three fours off Kainat Imtiaz’s first over. It was looking like a promising rebuilding effort from Hunter and Gaby Lewis as they put on 26 off the first five overs, but Lewis was unfortunately run out off the first ball of the sixth over by a direct hit from Aliya Riaz.

From there, the wickets came in a steady flow for Ireland. Hunter was dismissed for a 35-ball 30, charging down the wicket looking to hit Nashra Sandhu over deep mid-wicket but picking out a jumping Bismah Maroof. A fighting partnership by Delany and Orla Prendergast put on 42 before Prendergast, showing the same aggression she did in the last ODI, gave Riaz a catch at long off.

Delany edged a ball from Ghulam Fatima through to the keeper a couple of overs later before Eimear Richardson and Rachel Delaney were dismissed by Sandhu off consecutive deliveries.

Arlene Kelly and Mary Waldron then combined to score the highest-ever eighth-wicket partnership for Ireland in a women’s ODI. They compiled 60 runs between them before Waldron top-edged a sweep shot which fell into Sidra Nawaz’s gloves. Kelly went on to post a career-best ODI score of 34 before she was run out by Nida Dar.

Reviewing the game afterwards, Ireland may come to rue the fact that six batters got starts – scoring between 23 and 35 – but none went on to make a substantial contribution, and the visitors were bowled out for 194 with 2.4 overs remaining.

Ireland faced a tough task to register their first win of the tour, with Pakistan openers Sidra Ameen and Muneeba Ali both coming in off the back of centuries in the first ODI. They continued where they left off in the last match, calmly knocking off 52 runs in the first ten overs of the chase.

However, Richardson made the breakthrough in her first over, dismissing Ali for 27 but at 59-1 Pakistan were already well on their way.

Ireland’s bowling unit toiled hard in the challenging conditions, but from there on in, Maroof and Ameen put on a show of high-class batting, controlling the game with a partnership scored at close to a run a ball to see Pakistan home with more than 17 overs to spare.

The final match of the ODI series will take place on Wednesday 9 November, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore at 9.30am local time (4.30 Irish time).


Scores in brief:

Pakistan beat Ireland by nine wickets

Ireland 194 all out, 47.2 overs (Mary Waldron 35, Arlene Kelly 34; Ghulam Fatima 3-32, Nashra Sundhu 3-41, Fatima Sana 2-26)

Pakistan 195-1, 32.4 overs (Sidra Amin 91 not out Bismah Maroof 69 not out)

Player of the match – Sidra Amin (Pakistan)