KARACHI: Challengers emerged victorious with a seven-run win over table-toppers Dynamites in a nail-biting encounter during their dress rehearsal for the Women’s Pakistan Cup final at the State Bank ground on Friday.
This marked the Challengers’ second consecutive victory in the one-day phase of the tournament, while Dynamites suffered their first defeat.
The result sets the stage for an exciting final between these two teams, scheduled to take place on Sunday at the same venue.
Dynamites’ Nashra Sundhu claimed two wickets for 25 runs in her nine overs.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Challengers, led by Omaima Sohail, posted a total of 160 for seven in their allotted 45 overs. Javeria Khan, the experienced right-handed opener, played a vital role, scoring an impressive half-century of 83 runs off 126 deliveries, including six boundaries.
The most significant partnership of the innings came from Javeria and Fareeha Mehmood, who contributed 29 runs as they combined for a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 75 runs.
In response, Dynamites’ opening pair, Khadija Chishti (15) and captain Sidra Amin (36), provided a solid start of 43 runs. However, Challengers fought back, with left-arm spinner Saima Malik dismissing both Khadija and Aima Saleem in quick succession. At 48 for two in 14.2 overs, the pressure mounted on Dynamites.
Experienced all-rounder Aliya Riaz joined Sidra in the middle, and together they built a 26-run partnership for the third wicket. However, after Sidra’s departure, Dynamites struggled to maintain stability at the crease. The remaining seven wickets fell for just 79 runs, and Dynamites were eventually bowled out for 153 in 40.3 overs.
Aliya fought valiantly, scoring 61 runs off 76 deliveries, which included four fours and three sixes.
Saima and off-spinner Noreen Yaqoob starred for the winning side, each claiming three wickets. Off-spinner Omaima also contributed with two wickets for 28 runs.
With the conclusion of the round matches in the one-day phase, Dynamites finished at the top of the table, securing three wins out of four matches. Challengers secured the second spot with two wins from four outings, while Blasters, led by Muneeba Ali, ended in third place with one win out of four matches.
Scores in brief:
CHALLENGERS: 160-7 in 45 overs (Javeria Khan 83, Fareeha Mehmood 29; Nashra Sundhu 2-25); DYNAMITES: 153 in 40.3 overs (Aliya Riaz 61, Sidra Amin 36; Noreen Yaqoob 3-21, Saima Malik 3-29, Omaima Sohail 2-28).
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023