Javeria Khan’s unbeaten half-century guided Pakistan Women’s two-wicket win in the one-day international against Sri Lankan Women on Thursday.
The one-off ODI, being played at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club, was a low-scoring encounter, as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 153 runs with Sadaf Yousuf and Qanita Jalil taking three wickets each.
Javeria carried the bat and held the Pakistan chase together as wickets fell around her at regular intervals. She opened the innings with Nida Dar but was soon joined by Nahida Khan, as Nida was dismissed in the second over by Eshani Kaushalya. Nahida (5) and two-down batswoman Bismah Mahroof (7) were medium-pacer Kaushalya’s next two victims are she reduced Pakistan to 21-3 in six overs.
Captain Sana Mir then held her innings together for 43 balls as she scored 20 runs in the 41-run partnership with Javeria. She was, however, bowled out by her counterpart Shashikala Siriwardene in the 20th over. Marina Iqbal, who replaced Sana, could only survive three deliveries from Siriwardene before being given out leg-before. At this stage, Pakistan needed another 91 runs off 30 overs with five wickets in hand.
Javeria then shared a 53-run stand with Asmavia Iqbal, who scored 25 runs, to take Pakistan closer to the total. While Sri Lanka staged a late comeback to reduce Pakistan to 137-8, the visitors were anchored home by their resilient opener with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier, Qanita gave Pakkistan the perfect start when she bowled out Chamari Jayangani on the first ball of the innings. The medium-pacer then dismissed Suwini de Alwis in the third over to reduce the hosts to 8-2.
None of the middle-order batters could get into double figures as wickets continued to fall through the early overs. Captain Shashikala Siriwardene fell to left-arm medium-pacer Masooma Junaid after scoring four runs, and was soon followed by Sandamali Dolawatta and Dilani Surangika, both of whom were dismissed by left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf.
At 48-6, the hosts’ chances of crossing the 100-run mark appeared slim when Deepika Rasangika and Eshani Kaushalya started building a partnership. The two lower-order batters were able to resurrect the Lankan innings to some extent with their 62-run partnership that came in 14 overs.
Pakistan captain Sana Mir then brought herself into the attack and managed to break the partnership in the 35th over when she had Rasangika edge a ball to wicketkeeper Batool Fatima after scoring 31 runs. Kaushalya’s 52-ball vigil also ended soon when she became Qanita’s third victim. The all-rounder top-scored for the hosts with 35 runs, which included two fours.
Sri Lanka saw a late flurry from Udeshika Pabodhani, who hit three fours in her 33-ball 19 as the hosts finished their innings on 153 runs, with one ball to spare.
The one-off ODI will be followed by a quadrangular series, which also includes Netherlands and Ireland. Pakistan play their first match of the series against Netherlands on Saturday.