Pakistan start in style; Sri Lanka see off spirited UAE in Asia Cup
Tuba Hassan and Kavisha Dilhari picked two wickets apiece. © Getty Images
With the start of the match delayed by a wet pitch, Pakistan opted to bowl first to take advantage of the moisture in the pitch and it took Diana Baig just two balls to strike.
Winifred Duraisingam fell for a duck after being incorrectly adjudged out caught behind. Sadia Iqbal also struck in her first over from the other end, dismissing Mas Elya for three after she was caught at mid off.
The heavy outfield meant that Malaysia had to really struggle to hit boundaries and their problems were compounded by Tuba Hassan, who struck twice in her first three overs to have Wan Julia caught for 11 before bowling Mahirah Ismail for one.
Things quickly went downhill for Malaysia after that as Omaima Sohail scalped three with her big turning off spin, while there were two run outs as well.
The collapse resulted in Malaysia losing wickets quickly but Elsa Hunter stayed firm to remain unbeaten on 29* as Malaysia finished with 57 for nine.
Pakistan were clinical in the chase as Sidra Amin got off to a quick start and notched 31 off just 23 balls before being cleaned up by Mahirah Ismail.
Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof ensured that there were no further hiccups for Pakistan and sealed the win with 66 balls remaining. The win was Pakistan's biggest ever in the format in terms of balls to spare.
Brief Scores: Malaysia 57/9 in 20 overs (Elsa Hunter 29*; Omaima Sohail 3/19, Tuba Hassan 2/13) lost to Pakistan 61/1 in nine overs (Sidra Ameen 31; Mahirah Ismail 1/8) by nine wickets POTM: Tuba Hassan
In the second match of the day, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu opted to bat first in her 100th T20I match, becoming the first player from Sri Lanka to achieve the feat.
Athapaththu was the first to fall, as Mahika Gaur struck off just her second delivery to have her caught behind for six.
UAE’s bowlers kept a tight leash on the scoring and Hasini Perera was the next to depart for just two, courtesy a quick stumping by Theertha Satish from behind the stumps in Suraksha Kotte’s first over.
Harshitha Madavi timed the ball sweetly through the off side and stroked the ball through the off side but the introduction of spin slowed her down and the frustration got to her as she well for 37 while trying to clear the infield against Vaishnave Mahesh.
UAE skipper Chaya Mughal rotated her bowlers efficiently, using as many as seven, and Mahesh struck again when she dismissed Kavisha Dilhari with a well flighted leg break.
Mahesh had the ball on a string and the batters found her impossible to get away. Nilakshi de Silva was her third scalp, holing out to long on after a fighting 19.
Samaira Dharnidharka and Gaur then landed their yorkers perfectly at the death as Sri Lanka only managed 109 from their 20-over allocation after losing four wickets in the last two overs.
Sri Lanka needed to strike early in the chase and Dilhari did just that by dismissing the powerful Oza for four in her very first over after Theertha Satish had powered UAE to a quick start.
UAE reached 20 after four overs when the match was interrupted by rain. When the match resumed, UAE were set a target of 66 runs in 11 overs by the DLS method.
With almost a run a ball needed, Kavisha Egodage felt the pressure and hit one to mid off as Dilhari struck again to remove her for three.
The mounting asking rate saw Satish and Mughal fall in effort to go for the big hits for 19 and seven respectively. Sri Lanka’s spinners kept tempting the batters to go after them and succeeded as UAE fell short by 11 runs.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 109/9 in 20 overs (Harshitha Madavi 37; Vaishnave Mahesh 3/15, Mahika Gaur 3/21) beat UAE 54/7 in 11 overs (Theertha Satish 19; Kavisha Dilhari 2/7, Inoka Ranaweera 2/7) by 11 runs via DLS method POTM: Harshitha Madavi