Pakistan women look to take a bright start to ODI series against Sri Lanka today

KARACHI: Buoyed up by their super 3-0 win in the T20 series, Pakistan women cricket team will be looking to take a bright start to the three-match ODI series as well when they lock horns with Sri Lanka in their opener here at the Southend Club Cricket Stadium on Wednesday (today).

The match starts at 9:30 am local time.

This will also mark the beginning of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-2025 cycle which is also a pathway for qualifying for the 2025 World Cup.

The addition of Ireland and Bangladesh have raised the number of teams in the race to ten now which has also made it too competitive.

This is also the first time that Pakistan will be playing the ICC Championship matches on its home soil. The ten teams will play eight three-match series each during the 2022-25 cycle comprising four home series and four away series. The hosts plus the five top-placed teams will get direct entry to the World Cup. The remaining two teams will be identified through a global qualifier comprising six teams, the remaining four teams from the ICC Women Championship plus two others who will be selected according to the ICC Women’s ODI team rankings.

Both nations have faced 30 times in ODIs with Sri Lanka having won 21 while Pakistan have sealed victories in only nine matches.

The last time both teams came face-to-face in ODIs was back in 2018 when Pakistan had toured Sri Lanka for a three-match ICC Women Championship series. Bismah Maroof’s side swept that series 3-0 in Dambulla.

Pakistan’s skipper Bismah Maroof is confident to carry the same momentum which her brigade had got in the T20 series.

“The way we finished T20 series, so definitely we will try to carry the same momentum,” Bismah told a news conference here on Tuesday. “These matches are very important keeping in view the ICC Championship points. We will try our level best to win the series and get vital points,” she said.

“Past is not in our mind and we will take the T20 series confidence into the ODI series and win the series at home conditions,” she said while responding to a question that Sri Lanka have great record against Pakistan in ODI cricket.

Bismah said the introduction of the ICC Championship has benefited them more.

“The ICC Championship has benefited us as we now compete with the top teams. Before this we would play directly against them in the World Cup ad there was a huge difference but now getting more matches against the top sides our confidence is being boosted and now we can compete big teams,” she said.

Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu said that they will have to raise their game.”Definitely the last T20 series was not good for us as we lost three games. Now ODI series is a fresh start and its very important for us as we need points. Its very good opportunity for us and we have to play positive cricket,” Chamari told a news conference.

“Last year we did not get more ODIs and we missed World Cup as well. We have more youngsters and a few seniors in the team so these are tough days but we hope we will do well in the ODI series,” said Chamari said.

Earlier in the day the ODI series trophy was unveiled by both the skippers.

Pakistan squad:

Bismah Maroof (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui (wicketkeeper), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper).

Sri Lanka squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Achini Kulasuriya, Ama Kanchana, Anushka Sanjeewani, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Inoka Ranaweera, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Prasadani Weerakkody, Sachini Nisansala, and Sugandika Kumari.

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