Top bowling spells from spinners Omaima Sohail and Tuba Hassan helped Pakistan clinch a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Malaysia in their campaign opener of the Women's Asia Cup 2022 in Sylhet on Sunday.
With this victory, Pakistan have kicked off their Asia Cup campaign with a win. On the other hand, the match ended in a heart-aching defeat for Malaysians.
In the first innings, Pakistan restricted Malaysia to just 57/9 in their 20 overs. It was Elsa Hunter, who stayed unbeaten at 29 off 51 balls and scored more than half of her team's runs. Omaima Sohail's spin did wonders for Pakistan. She took 3/19 in three overs and did not even let the opposition cross 60, let alone the 100-run mark. The chase was a comfortable one for Pakistan as Sidra Ameen (31) top-scored in her side's nine-wicket win.
Chasing 58, Pakistan was off to a good start. Openers Muneeba Ali and Sidra Ameen were dealing with boundaries majorly, finding gaps at will.
Malaysia's Mahirah Izzati Ismail gave her team the first wicket, dislodging Ameen's stumps for 31 off 23 balls. Pakistan was now 45/1 in six overs.
However, skipper Bismah Maroof (8*) and Ali (21*) took their side across the finishing line comfortably, finishing at 61/1 in 9 overs and winning the game by three wickets.
Ismail (1/8) took her side's only wicket for Malaysia.
Earlier, put to bat first by Pakistan, Malaysia was off to an absolutely nightmarish start. Spinners demolished the Malaysian top order, sending back skipper Winifred Duraisingam (0), Mas Elysa (3), wicketkeeper-batter Wan Julia (11), Mahirah Izzati Ismail (1) and Ainna Hamizah Hashim (0) without making any significant impact.
Half of the Malaysian side was in the pavilion at a score of 29 in 11.2 overs. Hunter tried to keep one end steady, but there was absolutely nothing stopping Pakistani spinners, who seemed to get the best out of the surface. The result was her being left as the last one standing at 29* off 51 balls, while the rest of her team was restricted to 57/9 in 20 overs. Only two batters could score in double digits and five batters could not even open their accounts.
Sohail (3/19), Hassan (2/13) were stars of Pakistani bowling. Diana Baig and Sadia Iqbal got one each.
Hassan was adjudged as 'Player of the Match' for her spell of 2/13.
With this victory, Pakistan is at third number with two points in the points tally, while Malaysia is at fourth with zero points. (ANI)