Pakistan women lose to Barbados in Commonwealth Games cricket opener

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From our correspondent

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan women cricket team were off to a poor start in the Commonwealth Games T20 event when they were downed by Barbados by 15 runs in their Group A opener here at the Edgbaston Stadium on Friday.

Set to score 145, Pakistan women were restricted to 129-6 with Nida Dar scoring an unbeaten 50 off 31 balls. Earlier Kycia Knight (62*) and Haley Mathews (51) guided Barbados to 144-4 in the allotted 20 overs.

Chasing a target, Pakistan had a fragile start when they lost Iram Javed (0) off the first ball of the innings when she edged a rising delivery from pacer Shamila Connel to stumper Kycia Knight who took an easy catch. Omaima Sohail then got run out for a 14-ball ten that put Pakistan under an immense pressure.

However at this stage, Muneeba Ali and skipper Bismah Maroof tried to consolidate the innings but the former was clean bowled by off-spinner Haley Mathews when the left-hander went for a big shot.

Muneeba struck three fours in her 19-ball 17. And Pakistan were 40-3 in the ninth over. Pakistan immediately after that lost skipper Bismah Maroof who got run out as a result of a big mix-up when she was sent back by Nida Dar. Bismah scored just 12 off 28 balls with one four. Nida then carried the batting load single-handedly as she scored a superb 31-ball 50 not out with seven fours and one six but could not take her side over the line.

She dominated the 69-run fifth wicket stand with Aliya Riaz who fell for 24-ball 14. Ayesha Naseem (7) got out off the final ball. Nida, dropped on 48 hit one six and seven fours in her fine knock.

Shamila Connel (1-28), Aaliya Alleyne (1-29), Haley Mathews (1-13) and Deendra Dottin (1-25) were among the wickets.

After being invited to bat first Barbados lost Deandra Dottin (8), held by Bismah Maroof off pacer Diana Baig. However, at this stage wicket-keeper batter Kycia Knight (62*) and skipper Hayley Mathews (51) did a fine job and shared a 107-run stand for the second wicket to take their team to a decent total on a track which had some bounce and movement.

It was pacer Fatima Sana who broke the stand when they had already done the damage by removing Mathews in the 18th over. Mathews, who struck her fifth fifty in her international career, smashed four fours and one six in her 50-ball knock. Her fifty came off 47 balls.

In the next over Fatima had Kyshana Knight (9) before Aaliyah Alleyne got run out off the final ball of the innings without opening her account.

Kycia Knight, who brought in her fifty off 50 balls, remained not out after completing her second fifty in her 65th T20 international. Barbados scored 38 in the powerplay. Fatima Sana was the most successful bowler for Pakistan who took 2-41 in four overs while Diana Baig captured 1-14 in two overs.

Pakistan will play their next game against India on Sunday (tomorrow).

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