With an unbeaten run up to the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifiers, Pakistan is gearing up to meet Sri Lanka today in Dublin, Ireland.
The national team’s semi-final triumph over the hosts has already cemented its place at next year’s World Twenty tournament in Bangladesh, and now the team is looking forward to seal the title as they take on the Group B toppers.
On their road to the final, Pakistan registered one-sided victories as they thrashed Thailand by 69 runs, pummelled Zimbabwe by 72 runs and overwhelmed the Netherlands by 20 runs, before clinching a nine-wicket victory over Ireland in the last-four.
Under the mentorship of former Test cricketer Basit Ali, the women have shown significant improvement in the batting department — previously considered the Achilles’ heel. Their two batsmen occupy impressive slots in the ongoing event with Nain Abidi (111) the second-highest run-scorer followed by Bismah Maroof (101), both averaging over 50 runs.
A team official said all the players were motivated to win the title.
“We are happy with the players’ performance,” said the official. “The team has achieved the main task which was to qualify for the World Twenty20 and now we are targeting to win the tournament. The title will give huge confidence to the players and we are preparing for it accordingly.”
However, the official said Sri Lanka would be tough opponents.
“They are playing well and we will have to work hard to win the final battle. The weather and the toss will play a crucial role in the game.”
While Pakistan topped Group A, Sri Lanka were the unbeaten leaders in the other group, taming Ireland, Canada and Japan before defeating the Netherlands in their semi-final.
Meanwhile apart from the final, three other matches will be played on the day.
Thailand will take on Zimbabwe in the Shield final, while Ireland will face the Netherlands in the third place play-off. Another match to decide third place in the Shield event will be competed between Canada and Japan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
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