KARACHI: When bottom-dwellers Pakistan take on fellow strugglers Sri Lanka in their last match of the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup in Leicester on Saturday, both the teams will be hoping to break their duck and depart the big tournament with at least one consolation victory.
Easily the worst two teams in the tournament, neither Pakistan nor Sri Lanka have managed a single win in their combined dozen outings. Had their final fixture not been against each other, both could've been backed to go back home empty-handed, such have been their on-field woes.
Pakistan, due to their inferior net run-rate, are dead last on the points table of the eight-team tournament, although they can at least shed that ignominy if they beat the Islanders — a task skipper Sana Mir says her team is up for.
“We have been struggling with the bat since our first match," Sana told The Express Tribune. "So it is very important for our top order to score big in our last game. We need to bring our A-game in all three areas. Having only one of batting, bowling or fielding click in a match is not enough and that’s what we’re trying to address ahead of the Sri Lanka game."
"A win would be a big boost to our morale but playing good cricket is more important for us [than winning]," added Sana, with her team's winless run finally making some sense.
Positives have been few and far between during Pakistan's six-match winless run but Sana still seems convinced that she and her players can turn things around in their last outing.
"We will be giving our all in the last match," she said. "We are going with a positive mind-set and will make sure to rectify the mistakes we have made previously."
Sana also discussed Javeria Khan’s unbeaten 58-run innings in their last match — a rain-affected encounter with the West Indies, which Pakistan ended up losing by 19 runs via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method. “It was a knock that helped our batting line-up gain some much-needed confidence," she said. "It’s very promising to see us getting some runs. Javeria is an extremely important player for us."
Javeria herself is also keen to build upon her fifty in the last game and get some more runs under her belt against Sri Lanka. “I have gained a lot of confidence from the last game," she said. "Once I reached the fifty-run mark I became much more confident with my shots. If we are able to put in some good partnerships at the top we can win this game."
But Javeria was quick to remind that batting alone will not get the job done and that all three departments will have to play their part for the team to get off the mark. “To win the match, we will have to do well in all three areas: batting, bowling and fielding," she concluded.
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