Javeria Khan’s second one-day international century was backed by a strong bowling effort as Pakistan strode to a 69-run win over Sri Lanka in the first of a three-match ODI series which contributes to the ICC Women’s Championship match.
Khan marshalled the middle order and guided her side to 250/6 in their 50 overs after they were put in. The spinners then struck at regular intervals as the Sri Lankan reply was clipped at 181 in 45.2 overs.
Walking in at No.3 in the fourth over, and with both openers back in the hut by the next, Khan had her task cut out. She proved up to the challenge, with old-school patience and consolidation.
She first concentrated on building partnerships, ensured Pakistan had wickets in hand, and hit out at the death to ensure a good total. As she grew in confidence, she stepped out to spin and swept expertly on either side of the wicket.
Her century came up with a four behind square. She finished unbeaten on 113 in 142 balls, with 15 fours.
Helping her were the middle order of Bismah Maroof, Nida Dar and Sana Mir, who chipped in over stands of 49, 72 and 46 for the third, fifth and sixth wickets.
Natalia Pervaiz on ODI debut enjoyed the perfect cameo, contributing an unbeaten 21 in 20 balls, including the innings’ only six, straight down the ground.
With their openers sent back early in the reply, Sri Lanka might have hoped their No.3 too would make a dent on the scoreline, and Chamari Atapattu, having taken her time to settle in, was in terrific touch. She struck six fours and a six and was nearing her half-century when she was foxed by the left-arm spin of Nashra Sandhu. She fell for 46 in 57 balls. With seniors Maroof and Mir getting into the act, Pakistan did not allow the new batters to settle in.
Shashikala Siriwardene (44 in 46 balls) attempted to rally the tail, but with half the Sri Lankan line-up back even before the 100 came up, her valiant effort could only prolong the innings. Maroof had three wickets, while Sandhu, who finished with economical figures of 10-3-19-1, also chipped in with a run out.
The second ODI will be played at the same venue on Thursday.
Sources : news24
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