Sri Lanka held their nerves and pulled the carpet from under Pakistan’s feet to prevail by one run in a nail-biter in their ICC Women’s World Twenty20 encounter at Warner Park.
Chasing an under-par 109, Pakistan felt the pressure through the course of their innings, as Sri Lanka bowled and fielded with zest to make their paltry score seem far bigger. Eshani Kaushalya set the tone, striking twice in her first spell to leave Pakistan stuttering at 20 for 3, blows from which they never really recovered. Bismah Maroof played a fine hand, scoring 42 off 40 balls for the highest score of the match, but Sri Lanka smartly turned the heat on at the other end.
The pressure showed on the batsmen, who lost their wickets in a spate of run outs, as the boundaries were cut off. Captain Sana Mir departed after adding 38 runs with Maroof, before a couple of lbws stunned the lower middle order. At 65 for 6 after 14 overs, panic had set in and Sri Lanka turned the screws. Maroof was the seventh wicket to fall, with Pakistan’s tail needing 15 off 13 balls. Javeria Khan who had made 14 off 19 balls went next, after five runs had been added in one over. It all boiled down to the last ball, but Batool Fatima fell attempting to take the run that would have tied the scores. Pakistan had lost, and crucially, the last four wickets were all run outs.