KARACHI: Nida Dar has become the first Pakistan player – male or female – to 100 T20I wickets. The 34-year old reached the milestone when she had West Indies opener Deandra Dottin caught by Diana Baig in the T20I series opener in North Sound. She picked up one more wicket on Wednesday – that of Stafanie Taylor – to push her tally to 101. Only Anisa Mohammed, Ellyse Perry, Shabnim Ismail and Anya Shrubsole have taken more wickets than Dar in women’s T20Is.
“Definitely there was a lot of hard work behind this milestone,” Dar said after the game, which Pakistan lost by 10 runs. “I always had this in mind to complete 100 wickets as quickly as possible. I had a chance in the previous series but unfortunately couldn’t do. But this time made sure I will try my best in this series against West Indies and I am feeling great by getting this in the very first game. Sadly, the game didn’t finish in our favour and it could have been a lot better if we won the game. Anyway, next time I will try to win the game from my performance.”
Among all Pakistan players, Shahid Afridi is the second-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 97 strikes. Among Pakistan Women, Sana Mir (89) is the second-highest wicket-taker, behind Dar, with Sadia Yousuf (57) at third. Dar’s career-best haul of 5 for 21 came against Malaysia in the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. The PCB hailed Dar’s latest achievement, calling her an “inspiration” for the next-gen women players.
“This is no mean achievement and is a testimony of the hard work and dedication Nida has put in over the years,” Wasim Khan, the PCB CEO, said. “Over the last decade, Nida has prospered into an integral part of the national women’s team and has become an inspiration for the next generation of women cricketers.
“It is a great moment not only for her but the whole nation as she is also the first Asian woman bowler to record this landmark. Nida is an icon and inspiration to millions of young girls who are passionate about cricket and follow the game. In a day and age when women’s cricket is flourishing and its fan base is increasing day-by-day, role models like her would do well in taking the women’s game to the corners of the earth.”
Dar was also at it in the first T20I, returning 2 for 15, which helped Pakistan Women restrict West Indies Women to 136 for 6 after the hosts were 65 for 0. However, the Pakistan batters couldn’t overhaul the target, despite a late assault from Ayesha Naseem and Fatima Sana.
“The conditions were windy and the rain also intervened, but the pitch was supportive overall,” Dar said. “It had everything for bowlers and batters, so whoever comes strongly can score runs and can pick up wickets. We as a bowling unit gave a good start and bowled well in bits and pieces. I think 136 was a chaseable target and batters need to show more responsibility and that’s the key. We had a good outing with the ball and also took good catches in the field.”