KARACHI: Pakistan Women’s cricket team ended their abysmal World Cup campaign on yet another low note as they endured their seventh straight defeat of the tournament, this time a slim 12-run heartache at the hands of fellow strugglers Sri Lanka.
And even though the defeat was by a close margin, it doesn’t make up for the fact that Sana Mir’s girls finished as the only team in the tournament to not win a single game.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Sri Lanka posted 221 runs on the board for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 20 overs, thanks in large parts to their wicket-keeper batswomen Dilani Manodara, who top scored with 84 runs, while Pakistan’s Diana Baig captured three wickets for 41 runs.
Set a modest target of 222, Pakistan were then bowled out for 206 runs in the 47th over, falling 12 runs short and giving Sri Lanka their only victory of the tournament.
Pakistan’s most prominent contributor with the bat was Nain Abidi, who scored 57 runs off 68 balls, while Asmavia Iqbal chipped in with an unbeaten 38.
Naturally, the team’s horror show during the tournament was slammed by former women’s team coach Kabir Khan, who told The Express Tribune: “They should have restricted the Sri Lankan team under 200 which would have put them in pressure but they bowled some lose balls and were also poor in the field, which eventually cost them the match.
He continued: “They were poor throughout the tournament and did not do their best even thought they had the ability. Especially against a team like Sri Lanka that also hadn’t won any matches up to that last game, [we should’ve won].”
Kabir is of the opinion the team needs longer camps and more dedicated training to keep pace with the rest of the world. “The players couldn’t play in those conditions because they started training only a month or two before the tournament began. This should be an alarming situation for the management. Areas of weakness should be immediately identified and work should begin as soon as possible,” he said.
Kabir also feels the untimely injury of Bismah Maroof didn’t help the team either. “I have coached them and I know they have the ability to do better. The injury to Bismah Maroof was also a big blow,” he added.
The defeat in the final fixture also disappointed team’s general manager Shamsa Hashmi. “We desperately wanted to win this one. It would have boosted the morale of not just the team but also the management.”
Hashmi, however, assured that the next round of team’s training will be more comprehensive than ever. “The loss pointed out our weak areas,” she said. “Once they are back we will organize some fitness and skill-boosting camps. We will do all we can to hone our players’ skills. The girls have the talent, but we just need to polish their skills.”