An eight-wicket victory in the first ODI against Sri Lanka has helped Pakistan begin their ICC Women's Championship 2022-25 campaign on a high.
Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first
"We will look to restrict them and chase the score down," Bismah Maroof, the Pakistan captain, had quipped after losing the toss in the first ODI. They did just that as the hosts romped to a commanding victory.
Sri Lanka looked all at sea from the very start as they struggled to put up runs on the board. A horrible mix-up in the fourth over resulted in the wicket of Hasini Perera, and though their captain Chamari Athapaththu managed to play some beautiful shots, she too perished before the end of the 15th over.
A third wicket followed soon after as the visitors slipped to 46/3. It is then that Nilakshi de Silva and Prasadani Weerakkody took on the task of rebuilding. The duo made slow progress, but their efforts ensured the Lankans did not lose further wickets. Steadily they rebuilt the innings, pushing the score towards 100.
However, soon after their half-century stand in the 30th over, Pakistan struck back. It was all downhill from there for Sri Lanka as the hosts picked up three quick wickets in the space of four deliveries.
If not for Kavisha Dilhari's resilient 49*, the visitors would have been in a more troublesome state. With Pakistan keeping things tight at the other end, Sri Lanka were bowled out for a sub-par 169 in the 48th over. Ghulam Fatima picked up four wickets, while Fatima Sana and Sadia Iqbal claimed two each.
Ghulam Fatima’s 4/21 helps Pakistan bowl out Sri Lanka for an under-par 169!— ICC (@ICC) June 1, 2022
Who is taking the first match of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25?#PAKvSL | https://t.co/ROg1caAmPj pic.twitter.com/IoG9WIrOOc
Pakistan were cautious at the beginning of their chase of 170. Achini Kulasuriya provided the first breakthrough for Sri Lanka, dismissing opener Muneeba Ali for 14 in the eighth over.
Unfortunately for the visitors, that was the only scalp they managed to get. Bismah arrived at the crease and, along with Sidra Ameen, got the hosts going. Both batters controlled the innings superbly. They knew when to slow down and when to accelerate, and Pakistan chipped away at the low total. The duo was rarely troubled as Sri Lanka failed to create any chances. The visitors' woes in the field also meant that Pakistan took advantage of misfields.
The batters brought up their respective half-centuries. With two runs needed to win, Sidra chopped one onto the stumps to fall for 76. But her massive 143-run stand with Bismah (62*) ensured that Pakistan secured a comfortable eight-wicket win in the 42nd over.
Player of the Match: Ghulam Fatima for her brilliant spell of 4/21
She picked up the wickets of Hansima Karunaratne, Prasadani Weerakkody, Oshadi Ranasinghe and Ama Kanchana.
IWC 2022-25 update
Pakistan get two crucial points after their resounding win. Two more ODIs remain in the series.
Pakistan get one rating point, increasing their tally to 67, but they remain on the eighth position on the MRF Tyres ICC Women's ODI Team Rankings. Sri Lanka are one spot behind them on the ninth spot.
The next ODI in the series will take place at the same venue on Friday, 3 June at 9:30 AM local time.
What they said
Bismah Maroof, Pakistan captain: "We want these points and we worked hard on a hot day. I tried to finish the job and support Sidra, who played really well. We'll look to keep up the intensity and win the following matches too."
Chamari Athapaththu, Sri Lanka captain: "Our batters did not play positively. The wicket is excellent but we lost early wickets, the run outs were bad. Kavisha played a good knock and is a positive. We have to stick to our plans and play freely – that's my message for the team."
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