Nida Dar's career-best gives Pakistan Women crucial win in Asia Cup


Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

Nida Dar, the bowling all-rounder, put up a stellar performance by bagging five wickets for just 21 runs, and piloted Pakistan to a crucial 23-run win over Sri Lanka Women in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup, in Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday (June 6). Sri Lanka could only muster 113/9 in their allotted 20 overs, in pursuit of a target of 137.

While hunting down a competitive target, Sri Lanka needed a good start. Yasoda Mendis (25) and Nipuni Hansika (24) provided that solid platform by stringing together an opening stand of 48 in eight overs. However, Dar spun a web around the opposition ranks as Pakistan scripted an impressive turnaround. Mendis was the first one to be dismissed, caught by Sidra Nawaz off Dar, while Hansika was stumped in Dar’s next over.

Once the openers were dismissed in quick succession, rest of the batters struggled to keep up with the required run-rate. Anushka Sanjeewani (11) was the next highest scorer for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also weren’t helped by the fact that they lost a couple of wickets via run-outs. On the other hand, Dar bagged a five-for, surpassing her previous best T20I figures of 3 for 12 against India. Earlier, after Pakistan were inserted into bat, Bismah Maroof, the captain, led from the front with a quickfire 41-ball 60. Nahida Khan (38) also made a vital contribution at the top of the order.

Both teams have four points each from three matches so far. However, Sri Lanka sit second on the table and ahead of Pakistan by one place due to better NRR.

Brief scores: Pakistan 136/4 in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 60, Nahida Khan 38; Sugandika Kumari 2-18) beat Sri Lanka 113/9 in 20 overs (Yasoda Mendis 25; Nida Dar 5-21) by 23 runs.

Malaysia vs Thailand

The hosts, Malaysia, succumbed to a crushing nine-wicket loss against Thailand, as they suffered their third straight embarrassing defeat in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup. The visitors chased down the paltry target of 37 for the loss of just one wicket and in the ninth over to register their first win of the tournament.

Malaysia, who opted to bat, struggled to stitch partnerships of any significance. The home side’s woes can be capsulised by the point that not a single player crossed the double-digit mark. Sasha Azmi, the 16-year-old medium pacer, batting at No. 9, turned out to be the top-scorer (9) for the side. However, on a slightly positive note, the home side weren’t bowled out as they batted through their full quota of overs. Wongpaka Liengprasert picked up two wickets for Thailand.

Despite losing Nattakan Chantam in the fourth over, Thailand cruised to the target. Naruemol Chaiwai top-scored for them with an undefeated 20. Azmi, Malaysia’s leading wicket-taker for the tournament, picked up the only scalp to fall.

Brief scores: Malaysia 36/8 in 20 overs (Wongpaka Liengprasert 2-10) lost to Thailand 37/1 in 9 overs (Naruemol Chaiwai 20*) by nine wickets.

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