Pakistan captain Sana Mir rues poor batting after spinners helped restrict England to a modest total
England registered an emphatic win over Pakistan in its opening game of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in Galle on Thursday. After a shock exit from the group stages of the 2010 edition in West Indies, England played like a team which is out to prove a point.
Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh, the England opening pair, took the Pakistan bowling apart with some blistering strokes to set up the win. England, who looked good to post a total in excess of 150, was halted by the Pakistan spinners, going from 102 for no loss in13 overs to 133 for 6 after 20.
"We planned to attack the bowling in the Power Play overs," said Edwards afterwards. "I think as the game progresses, we've seen spin play a major part, so before the pitch wore out, we wanted to get as much as possible."
In terms of preparation, England is coming into the tournament on the back of two full series at home against India and the West Indies. Its preparation prior to departure may have been hampered by weather, but Edwards felt every member of the team was on top of her game. "We're coming here at the back of a lot of games against India and West Indies, so all of us are in good rhythm. Good to start off with a win and ease into the next game with confidence," said Edwards.
Marsh smashed her first Twenty20 International fifty, and was deservingly named Player of the Match. But despite the ease with which she scored her 54, Marsh felt the pitch wasn't the easiest to bat on. "Initially the ball was coming on to the bat, but as the game progressed, the ball was stopping a bit, so the spinners were difficult to get away," said Marsh.
On the other hand, Sana Mir, the Pakistan captain, rued the lack of planning in the batting for the defeat. "We did really well to restrict them to 133," said Mir. "I thought we could have applied ourselves better with the bat.”
"Once we lose too many wickets at the start, it just puts immense pressure on the middle-order. Hopefully we will rectify our mistakes and look to win the remaining two games, we can only go up from here," added Mir.
Mir, who is the only Pakistani to be ranked in the Top 20 of the ICC Women's Bowlers’ Rankings, said each and every member of the team aspired to leave their imprint in the tournament. "Yes, the goal is to win as a team, but each of us have personal goals, which we want to achieve," said Mir. "This is the best platform to do that. We shouldn't let nerves get the better of us, we're a much improved side and hopefully we will show that in the remaining games."