Jonassen, Carey help Australia restrict Pakistan before rain plays spoilsport

Jess Jonassen © Cricket Ireland

Jess Jonassen took her third four wicket haul to help Australia restrict Pakistan below 100 in the fifth match of the tri-series before the rain stopped the play on Saturday (July 23).

Playing at the Bready Cricket Club, Pakistan’s captain Bismah Maroof won the toss and opted to bat first after a brief delay due to the wet outfield. Australia rested pacer Darcie Brown as Grace Harris replaced her. For Pakistan, Omaima Sohail was added to the playing XI to replace Nida Dar. 

Muneeba Ali and Iram Javed opened the batting for Pakistan, while Ashleigh Gardner took the ball in the powerplay. Javed looked in good touch as she lofted the first delivery she faced over mid on for a boundary. Megan Schutt and Jonassen shared the new ball duties as Gardner bowled a quicker delivery to provide Australia with the breakthrough in the fifth over. Sohail, batting at three, could only last for five balls. Gardner snaffled the easy catch off Jonassen to end the powerplay with two wickets for Australia. 

Ali partnered with captain Maroof after the powerplay as Meg Lanning introduced the leg-spin of Alana King in the eighth over. Both Pakistan batters were cautious against King, and the dot ball pressure kept building. Ali tried to be aggressive against Nicola Carey, but that led to her downfall. Beth Mooney perfected her jump to send the opener back for 19. Halfway through the innings, Pakistan were struggling for 41 for three. 

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Carey continued to take wickets as she dismissed Ayesha Naseem for a duck, with Lanning completing a simple catch. Aliya Riaz joined Maroof with nine overs in hand and showed her intent with a sweep against King. Riaz and Maroof’s budding partnership of 30 was cut short by a run-out. Maroof misjudged the call, and Riaz was caught short at the wicketkeepers’ end. 

Kainat Imtiaz, batting at seven, tried to go aggressive in the death overs and hit the first four since the dismissal of Riaz. Lanning handed the ball to Jonassen in the final over of the innings. She dismissed Imtiaz and Fatima Sana with back-to-back deliveries but missed the hat-trick. She bowled Diana Baig with the last ball of the innings to take her third four-wicket haul in T20Is and ended hopes of Pakistan going past 100 runs in the first innings. 

In reply, Diana Baig started the proceedings with the ball for Pakistan against Australia’s opening pair of Mooney and Alyssa Healy. The pair got off to a good start and scored 28 runs before rain stopped the play. 

Brief Score: Pakistan 98/8 in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 32*, Jess Jonassen 4/17, Nicola Carey 2/16) v Australia 28/0 in 4.2 overs (Beth Mooney 11*,  Alyssa Healy 12*)