Ghulam Fatima, Sidra and Bismah star in Pakistan’s thumping win

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Leg-spinner Ghulam Fatima produced her career-best while seasoned opener Sidra Amin and captain Bismah Maroof stroked half-centuries as Pakistan recorded a crushing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ICC Women’s Championship ODI series at the Southend Club, Karachi on Wednesday.

This was the first match in the 10-team ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 cycle, the top six sides at the end of the cycle (including the tournament hosts) will qualify for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025.

Set a 170-run target, Pakistan coasted him courtesy a 143-run alliance between Sidra and Bismah – Pakistan record for the second-wicket in ODIs. The previous best was an unbeaten 133-run partnership between Javeria Khan and Nahida Khan against Ireland at Colombo in 2017.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sidra and Bismah came together after the early loss of Muneeba Ali (14), the left-hander was dismissed with the total at 28 in the 8th over. The pair produced a series of impressive strokes while rotating the strike with great proficiency as Pakistan made light work of the paltry target.

The right-handed Sidra reached the fourth fifty of her career on the 82nd ball of her innings. Bismah registered her 16th fifty on the 84th ball of her innings. Sidra was bowled by Oshadi Ranasinghe for 76 with Pakistan mere two runs away from the target.

Sidra scored 76 off 119 balls (seven fours) while Bismah contributed 62 off 101 balls (five fours) Achini Kulasuriya and Oshadi Ranasinghe took the wickets to fall in the Pakistan innings.

Pakistan chased down the target in the 42nd over with 49 balls to spare, Omaima Sohail hit the winning run and returned unbeaten on one.

Earlier, Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu won the toss for the fourth consecutive time on the tour and like the T20Is, decided to bat first again.

Athapaththu lost her opening partner Hasini Perera (4) to a run out with the score at seven. The left-handed Sri Lankan captain was the second wicket to fall as she perished attempting a big hit against left-arm spinner Sadia Iqbal. Athapaththu scored 25.

From 96 for three in the 30th over, Sri Lanka endured a mid-innings slump as they crashed to 96 for six in a space of four balls with Ghulam Fatima accounting for two wickets off successive balls. The first two go was Prasadani Weerakkody (30 off 44 balls, three fours), Oshadhi Ranasinghe was bowled the next ball without offering a shot.

Sri Lanka only reached 169 due to a fighting unbeaten 49 off 50 balls (five fours, one six) by Kavisha Dilhari. Ghulam Fatima produced the best spell of her ODI career finishing with hugely impressive figures of 10-2-21-4.

Pacer Fatima Sana took two wickets for 24 runs while Sadia took two for 30, two Sri Lankan batters were run out. The second ODI will be played on Friday.