Pakistan beat Ireland in their third game, but losses to Australia, India and New Zealand meant a fourth-place finish in Group B of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.
Pakistan, led by new captain Javeria Khan, started the tournament against Australia on the opening day, and despite putting up a brave show, went down by 52 runs.
This was the much-anticipated clash against India, and half-centuries from Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar kept Pakistan in the game before the Indians clinched victory by seven wickets.
Up against Ireland, Javeria came to the party with a Pakistan-record knock, and they held on to run out victors by 38 runs.
New Zealand had a disappointing run, with losses to India and Australia, but raised their game against Pakistan, handing the Asian side a 54-run defeat.
Positives to take home
Bowling, especially spin, is Pakistan’s strongest suit, but Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar scored half-centuries against India, and Javeria scored a Pakistan record 74* against Ireland to grab headlines. Not just that, they put up 113/8 against Australia and 133/7 against India – good runs against really strong sides.
That aside, Javeria’s consistency – 9, 17, 74* and 36 – was a good sign, as was the bowling of Nashra Sandhu and Aliya Riaz, who finished with four and six wickets respectively.
Areas to improve
The bowlers failed to keep the pressure on for sustained periods, which was disappointing from the Pakistan point of view. Top bowlers Sana Mir and Anam Amin conceded runs at 6.81 and 8.71 as well – Amin did not get a wicket in her two outings either.
The fielding was often sloppy too, and like Javeria said after Pakistan’s last game, “We have made mistakes and we'll come back stronger and cut down our mistakes”. Pakistan were good in patches, but not always for long enough.
Nida Dar is one of the more experienced hands in the Pakistan set-up. She’s 31, has been playing international cricket since 2010, and her off-spin is regarded highly around the world. She did well on that front, picking up a couple of wickets, and was the most parsimonious of the Pakistan bowlers, giving away just 89 runs in her 16 overs at an economy rate of 5.56. Add to that the 76 runs she scored – including a 52 against India – and it’s easy to see her value to the team.