Nerves got the better of Pakistan in the final of the Asian Cricket Council Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup as a dramatic collapse saw the team go down by 18 runs and hand the title to their Indian counterparts at the Guanggong International Cricket Stadium.
Captain Sana Mir shone with the ball, claiming four for 13 as India Women were bundled out for 81 in 20 overs before Pakistan fared even worse. From being comfortably placed at 31 for one, the team lost the way and were dismissed for 61 as India erupted with joy.
The defeat was Pakistan’s second in the tournament — both coming against India.
Earlier, Mir destroyed the Indian batting line-up, finishing with her career-best Twenty20 international figures. The 26-year-old bowled her counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur for 20, while Bismah Maroof and Mariam Hasan took two wickets apiece to help put Pakistan in the driving seat.
However, the batters failed miserably after a sound start. Maroof made 18, while Mir contributed 11 but after the captain’s dismissal, Pakistan found no way back in the game. Nain Abidi, the only player to score a One-Day International century for Pakistan, made 13 but the contribution was not enough. Archana Das took two for 12, while Nagarajan Niranjana claimed the last wicket in the final over of the innings to finish with two for 15.
Poonam Raut was the player of the match for her 28-run knock, while Pakistan’s Maroof was given the player-of-the-tournament title. Maroof, 21, scored 113 runs in five games, the highest in the event, while also claiming five wickets.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2012.