PCB Blasters’ opener Ayesha Naseem goes on the attack against PCB Challengers during the National Triangular T20 Women’s Championship match at the National Stadium on Friday.—courtesy PCB
PCB Blasters’ opener Ayesha Naseem goes on the attack against PCB Challengers during the National Triangular T20 Women’s Championship match at the National Stadium on Friday.—courtesy PCB

KARACHI: Opener Javeria Rauf and spinner Anum Amin played key roles in inspiring the PCB Blasters to their second consecutive victory in the National Triangular T20 Women’s Championship here at the National Stadium on Friday.

Following their 25-run defeat of PCB Dynamites in Thursday’s opening game of the competition, the Blasters sealed a close 12-run win against the PCB Challengers on a blustery, cold afternoon.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the Blasters posted 154-5 in the stipulated overs, despite losing star batter Javeria Wadood Khan upfront for only five. But her unrelated namesake Javeria Rauf showed her class with a blazing 57 from 40 deliveries as she and opener Ayesha Naseem put on 62 for the second wicket.

Hafsa Khalid was the other notable run-getter with a 22-ball contribution of 24 that included a brace of boundaries.

Looking in belligerent mood, Ayesha hoisted three sixes and a four during her 20-ball cameo of 31. Javeria struck eight boundaries and a four. Aliya Riaz — who excelled with a fine all-round show against the Dynamites — slammed four fours in making 29 off 27 balls, while adding 52 for the third wicket with Javeria.

Huraina Sajjad scored a run-ball unbeaten 17. Seamer Fatima Shah picked up two wickets for 24 runs in four overs.

The Challengers, who are being led by Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof, were on course for victory when they reached 92-2 but slow left-armer Anum then derailed their chase with a tidy spell to restrict them to 142-9.

Opener Muneeba Ali stood out with a brilliant 50 off just 36 balls, while striking three sixes and as many fours before falling to leg-spinner Tooba Hasan, who also bagged the prized scalp of Bismah for a run-a-ball 15.

Anum was easily the pick of the Blasters bowling with figures of three for 14 in four excellent overs. Ramin’s off-spinners fetched her two wickets for 23 runs in fours, while Tooba took 2-27 in four overs.

Javeria Rauf and Anum were later declared joint recipients of the player-of-the-match award.

Saturday’s game three offers both Challengers and Dynamites to secure their first triumph in the event which is being played on a double round-robin basis.

Summarised scores:

PCB BLASTERS 154-6 in 20 overs (Javeria Rauf 57, Ayesha Naseem 31, Aliya Riaz 29, Huraina Sajjad 17 not out; Fatima Sana 2-25, Saba Nazir 1-11, Aroob Shah 1-30, Aiman Anwar 1-34); PCB CHALLENGERS 142-9 in 20 overs (Muneeba Ali 50, Hafsa Khalid 24, Bismah Maroof 15, Ayesha Zafar 13; Anum Amin 3-14, Ramin Shamim 2-23, Tooba Hasan 2-27).

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2020

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