Sunday, 26 September 2021

Mir takes five as Pakistan eases past Scotland


COLOMBO: A five-wicket haul from Sana Mir, the Pakistan captain, helped the team finish its group B commitments in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 with a six-wicket win over Scotland. Pakistan, who had two wins from three matches going into this game on Monday (February 13) at the Colombo Cricket Club, banked on its spinners to bowl Scotland out for 91 in 39.1 overs. Despite a fighting four-wicket haul from Kirstie Gordon, the Asian side got to 94 for 4 in 27.1 overs. Javeria Khan was unbeaten on 35 off 43 balls, finishing things off with a four to long-on, while Rabiya Shan was 16 not out when Pakistan got over the line. Gordon’s two twin strikes, the first in the 12th over of the game – the hat-trick ball had to wait while lunch was taken – and the second in the 18th, brought on some drama. But the new opening combination of Nahida Khan and Nain Abidi had given Pakistan a solid start. Javeria, carrying the confidence of her hundred against PNG last week, ensured there were no last-minute stutters.

Being out in the Sri Lankan heat in a week where it’s been snowing back home, Scotland hadn’t done as well as it would have liked, especially with the batting. There was a new opening pair, with Fi Urquhart joining Ollie Rae after the team chose to bat, but the result was the same. The pair was separated in the fourth over, and it was a procession thereafter. Pakistan wasted no time in turning to spin, which has been its strength in the tournament. Nashra Sandhu (3 for 13), the young left-arm spinner, who is the team’s leading wicket-taker in her debut tournament, opened the bowling with Maham Tariq, and got the early breakthrough, having Urqhart caught and bowled. In her second spell, she had Kathryn Bryce caught behind and the dangerous Rachel Scholes lbw in the same over. Mir rotated her bowlers smartly to keep Scotland guessing and save her players from the withering sun. Kari Anderson, who along with Scholes has been vital in bringing stability to their innings in the middle overs, became Mir’s second wicket of the day, and the first in a quick series of three in two consecutive overs. Katie McGill extended the innings, but the Associate side couldn’t push the total to three digits. Mir finished with 5 for 14 in her quota of 10 overs and, at the end of the afternoon, pleased in the knowledge that her team would go to the Super Six with three wins in four matches.

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