Papua New Guinea Women dismissed for 40 all out to lose by 236 runs
Pakistan Women’s highest One-Day International partnership is the 181 runs Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar put on in 2013 against Ireland for the fourth wicket. Its match on Friday (February 10) against Papua New Guinea Women at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo didn’t count as an international, but the opening stand of 212 in 38 overs between Ayesha Zafar and Javeria Khan easily smashed that record.
Both brought up hundreds as Pakistan piled on a commanding total of 276 for 5 in its ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier match. Nashra Sandhu, the young left-armer, then cleaned up the PNG middle order. With youngsters Maham Tariq and last game’s player of the match Ghulam Fatima getting in on the action with two wickets each, PNG was bowled out for 40. It gave Pakistan an emphatic 236-run win.
With Sana Mir rested for the game along with Nahida Khan, Bismah Maroof chose to bat and Javeria stepped out to open with Zafar. The opening pair settled in quickly and moved to attack.
They waited for the right balls to put away and runs came easily, especially in the area between deep cover and long-off. The bowlers employed the short ball with some efficiency, but with few fielders in catching positions, they were sent on a leather hunt.
Pakistan’s 100 came at the end of 21 overs, with Zafar already having got to her fifty. A fan of the pull shot, she brought up her hundred with one of a series of five fours in the 38th over, celebrating with a leap and a prayer. During that boundary burst, her team too made it past 200. She retired out right after, her 98-ball 115 including 21 fours.
No. 3 Rabiya Shah ran hard so that Javeria, whose top score in ODIs is an unbeaten 133, could get to her own milestone. The wait in the 90s extended across 14 balls; when the hundred finally came with a single down midwicket, despite the fielders congregating inside the circle, it brought on a subdued celebration.
Javeria would be bowled by Ravini Oa for a 146-ball 100, which included 11 boundaries.
"They were really consistent with their bowling, they did well in the start," acknowledged Zafar. "But I adjusted well to it and I guess it paid off."
Muneeba Ali, playing her first match of the tournament, swung her bat for a 22-ball 25, as the middle order pushed the score past 250.
It was always going to be too tall a total for PNG. Tariq banged the ball in short to have Norma Ovasuru caught behind in the fifth over, and then on wickets fell at regular intervals, again exposing the lack of depth in the PNG batting.
Sandhu struck twice each in consecutive overs, just missing out on a hat-trick, as PNG slipped from 36 for 4 to 40 all out.
The big-hitting Konia Oala did well to see out 50 balls and was the only one to get to double figures, but even that was boosted by her six to cow corner.
On Saturday, PNG plays Scotland, who was beaten by Bangladesh, while Pakistan will next be in action on Monday.