Tuba Hassan gets best figures for a Pakistan debutant

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Leg-spinner Tuba Hassan enjoyed a fairytale debut as she spearheaded Pakistan to a straightforward six-wicket win in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Karachi.

Brought on in the tenth over, her four-over stint blew through the Sri Lankan middle order, as she conceded just eight runs, bowling a maiden along the way and taking three wickets. A slightly conservative Sri Lanka were kept to 106 for 8. Pakistan started slowly and lost three early wickets of their own, but a 51-run stand between Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar put them back on track, with Dar’s unbeaten 27-ball 36 ensuring Pakistan got to the target with ten balls to spare.

Choosing to bat first, Sri Lanka lost wickets in each of Anam Amin’s first two overs, including the all-important wicket of Chamari Athapaththu. Pakistan were keeping things tight, and even a 38-run third wicket stand never quite threatened to take the game away from them. With Sri Lanka content to take singles instead of looking for boundaries, the spinners felt emboldened to flight the ball generously, getting into their rhythms from the outset. When Aiman Anwar rocked Nilakshi de Silva’s leg stump,
Sri Lanka had lost their most dangerous batter, any hopes of pushing the target to a run-a-ball faded.

If the fans – and there was a sizeable contingent – thought Pakistan would make light work of the target, Sri Lanka’s bowlers disabused them of that notion fairly quickly. Keeping things tight, Pakistan were forced to retreat into their shell early on, with Sugandika Kumari removing Gull Feroza in the first over. Muneeba Ali and Iram Javed, who both fell for 18, spent much of the powerplay regrouping and trying to take the sting out of the early attack, and that meant the run scoring was somewhat staid.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka women 106 for 8 (Tuba 3-8, Amin 3-21, Anwer 2-32)

Pakistan women 107 for 4 (Dar 36*, Maroof 28, Ranasinghe 2-20)