Pakistan women’s team, displaying fine skills and temperament, scored a thumping nine wicket victory over Bangladesh here at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Thursday evening, their second successive win of the World T20 after their famous triumph over India in the opening game here.
They now join West Indies, who lost to England in Dharamsala, at the second spot in Group B with four points from three games. More importantly, the win gives the Pakistani women a reasonable chance to harbour hopes for a passage to the semis.
Captain Sana Mir wanted to restrict Bangladesh to between 90 and 100 after losing the toss but just failed. It was but a minor setback.
At the end of their allotted 20 overs, Bangladesh had scored 113 for 9, setting a target that did not look impossible on a pitch that Mir described as a “good wicket to bat on”.
The Pakistani batswomen backed their skipper in her assessment of the Kotla pitch, and reached the target with 21 balls to spare and nine wickets in hand.
After losing Nahida Khan in the second over, Player of the Match Sidra Ameen (52 not out from 47 balls) and Bismah Maroof (43 not out from 40) totted up a quick-fire 39 at the end of the power play.
At the end of the first 10 overs, Pakistan were 67 for the loss of one, with a comfortable run rate of 6.7 against a required rate of 5.34 at start of their innings. Bismah was belligerent with the bat and heaved Ruman Ahmed to the fence three successive times in the 14thover, which yielded 15 runs.
Sidra Ameen reached her half century the next over from just 43 deliveries.
If the Bangladeshi bowlers were left looking clueless with the ball, their batswomen did not put up much of a resistance with the bat either.
After losing two quick wickets with 22 on board under five overs, Bangladesh opener Shamin Akhter was joined at the crease by top-scorer Fargana Hoque.
The duo stitched up a crucial 43-run partnership before Pakistan skipper skipper Sana Mir struck in her third over — and Pakistan’s 14th — luring Akhter to try and sweep but top-edge to Nida Dar at short fine leg.
This was the beginning of a collapse; Bangladesh lost a wicket in every over till the 18th over — three of them run-outs, including that of the dangerous Fargana Hoque (36 in 53 balls, two 4s). The last two overs cost the Pakistanis 22 runs, and it could have been more but for the two strikes in the last over.
Spinner Aman Amin opened the bowling and had the best figures taking two wickets for 12 runs off her four overs.
Pakistan’s Nida Dar needed four more wickets to reach 50 in T20 Internationals. In the event, she went wicketless.
This was the seventh time that the Bangladesh and Pakistan women met on the cricket pitch, with the results having gone Pakistan’s way the previous six times. Before this game, Pakistan had won only four matches in 18 Women’s World Twenty20 matches — though the last one has been against a tough opposition like India.
Bangladesh also does not boast of a sparkling track record in the Women’s World T20; it has only managed to win two of eight games it has played before Thursday’s tie. Plus, Bangladesh are without a win since April 2014 in this format.
Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2016