Sidra Amin, Muneeba Ali help Pakistan to mammoth win against Ireland in series opener
Sidra Amin on her way to highest individual ODI score for Pakistan © PCB
Sidra Amin and Muneeba Ali headlined the batting efforts with a 221-run opening partnership – Pakistan’s first in ODIs – to help Pakistan register a big win at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday (November 4). In the process, Amin also smashed the records for the highest individual score for the hosts in ODIs with an unbeaten 176 off 151 balls, while Ali scored her maiden century with a 114-ball 107. On a day records tumbled, Pakistan went past 300 for the first time in the format and finished their innings with 335 for 3 from the stipulated 50 overs.
Opting bat first, Ali and Amin started solidly for Pakistan despite Orla Prendergast getting the ball to move in the opening overs. After a few tights overs, Ali hit Prendergast for a couple of boundaries and then added two more fours to her credit in the power play. Pakistan ended the ten-over mark with 49 runs on the board.
Post the power play, Amin hit first couple of boundaries as she took on Arlene Kelly in the 11th over and then she hit leg spinner Cara Murray for three boundaries in her second over.
After they brought up their century partnership, Ali and Amin brought up their individual fifties in the over bowled by Rachel Delaney. In an attempt to break the partnership, Laura Delany brought in Leah Paul as the eighth bowling option and she was greeted with three fours and a six by the Pakistan opening duo. Ali hit Paul for one more maximum in her next over and in the 32nd over, the pair went past the 200-run mark making it the first instance for Pakistan in the format.
Meanwhile, Ali reached her maiden ODI hundred from 108 balls with a single off Murray. Amin was on 99 when the breakthrough eventually came for Ireland with Eimear Richardson picking up Ali for 107.
However, Amin kept going and brought up her third ODI century with a single in the same over. Post her hundred, Amin and Aliya Riaz took on the Ireland bowling and added 97 runs in good time. Amin went past Javeria Khan’s 133 not out against Sri Lanka to break the highest individual score record for Pakistan in ODIs and she kept batting till the end of the innings to finish on 176.
For Ireland, Kelly picked up two wickets while Jane Maguire bowled economically giving away 47 runs from her ten overs.
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Chasing a mammoth total, Ireland were in early troubles with Gaby Lewis and Leah Paul falling within the power play. Lewis was caught by Ghulam Fatima off Fatima Sana and Kainat Imtiaz accounted for Paul. Immediately after the power play, Ireland lost Amy Hunter as well when ran down the track off Nashra Sundhu.
From there, it was up to Prendergast and Delany to resurrect the innings and duo looked solid during their stand of 69. Prendergast started with a boundary off Sundhu in the first ball she faced and then Delany drove the left-arm spinner to long-on for a boundary before hitting Fatima for another four. Prendergast also hit the leg spinner for a four.
Just when it looked like the duo would bat long for Ireland, Nida Dar struck with the wicket of Prendergast as she was caught by debutant Sadaf Shamas for 29. Richardson didn’t last long as she became Sana’s second wicket.
Fall of wickets at the other end didn’t affect Delany and she brought up her fifty from 69 deliveries. Post her fifty, she continued to a play a few more shots, but once she fell to Dar in the 38th over, Ireland’s hope of narrowing the defeat margin also went down. Eventually the visitors finished 128-run short as Pakistan started the series with a big win and bagged two ICC Women's Championship points.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 335/3 in 50 overs (Sidra Amin 176*, Muneeba Ali 107; Arlene Kelly 2/62) beat Ireland 207/10 in 49.3 overs (Laura Delany 69, Orla Prendergast 29; Nida Dar 3/34, Fatima Sana 2/24) by 128 runs POTM: Sidra Amin