Ghulam Fatima, Sadaf Shamas star as Pakistan whitewash Ireland
Pakistan celebrate a wicket © PCB
Pakistan registered a five-wicket win and whitewashed the ODI series against Ireland at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday (November 9). Earlier, Ghulam Fatima took a five-wicket haul to restrict the visitors to 225 and in the chase Sadaf Shamas played a key role with a 124-run stand with Bismah Maroof.
Opting to bat first again, Ireland needed the openers to lay a strong foundation to post a good score. Although they were circumspect, Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis started solidly in the power play. They could hit only four boundaries in the first ten overs to score 37 runs without any loss.
Post the power play, Paul hit Aliya Riaz through extra-cover for a four before repeating the feat against Nashra Sundhu. Inspired by her partner, Lewis pulled Riaz to deep square-leg boundary in the next over.
The duo added 84 runs from 21 overs before Fatima struck for the first time with the big wicket of Lewis, who scored 39 off 67 balls. At three, Amy Hunter started positively with a boundary off Omaima Sohail and then hit Fatima also for two fours. The 17-year-old looked completely at ease and hit debutante Umm-e-Hani for consecutive fours before bringing up her sixth boundary against Sundhu.
Just when it looked like Paul and Hunter would take Ireland to a good score, Fatima beat Hunter in the flight when the batter came down the track to hit and was stumped for 41. Paul, who scored 65, was also stumped with Umm-e-Hani shortening length against the southpaw when she attempted to slink down the track.
Ireland went from 149 for one to 161 for four when Orla Prendergast missed a straight one from Fatima. Eimear Richardson played a few scoops against Fatima Sana and was also inventive against other bowlers and added 41 runs with Laura Delany.
However, both fell in quick succession as Pakistan leg spinner Fatima completed her five-wicket haul. Ireland couldn’t recover from these blows and were eventually bowled out in the final over for 225.
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Chasing 226 for a white wash, Pakistan stuttered early in the chase losing in-form batters Muneeba Ali and Sidra Amin in the power play. Prendergast accounted for Ali in the seventh over and Jane Maguire bowled Amin in ninth over.
With two early wickets falling, it was an opportunity for Shamas to show her ability and she found a good company in skipper Maroof, who was playing in her 121st ODI – the most for Pakistan in the format.
Maroof started quickly with three early boundaries even as Shamas took her time to settle down. Eventually Shamas found her first boundary off Arlene Kelly. As time went, the duo gained confidence and took on the Irish bowlers.
In the 27th over, Shamas brought up her first fifty in international cricket and Maroof, having just became the first Pakistan player to score 3000 runs in ODIs, also joined her with a fifty off 64 balls.
Ireland eventually ended the 124-run partnership when Rachel Delaney accounted for Maroof in the 32nd over. Shamas also fell soon as Richardson dismissed her for a well-made 72.
Even though Riaz also fell with Pakistan still needing 33 runs from the last eight overs, Omaima Sohail and Sidra Nawaz survived a few anxious moments. However, Nawaz hit Cara Murray for consecutive boundaries to kill Ireland’s hopes and took the hosts home in the 48th over.
Brief Scores: Ireland 225/10 in 49.5 overs (Leah Paul 65, Amy Hunter 41; Ghulam Fatima 5/34) lost to Pakistan 226/5 in 47.1 overs (Sadaf Shamas 72, Bismah Maroof 57; Eimear Richardson 2/45) by five wickets