Pakistan won their first match of the tournament with a 38-run win against Ireland at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara, Guyana.
Pakistan Captain Javeria Khan led from the front with a superb knock of 74, then the bowlers easily defended a target of 140 restricting Ireland to 101-9 in their full quota of 20 overs.
Opting to bat first under scintillating sunshine, Pakistan openers made their way to the crease looking to post a decent target. Nahida Khan and Ayesha Zafar were watchful in their approach until Ireland got their first wicket in the fifth over.
Nahida Khan was out caught by Gabby Lewis with the score on 16. The Pakistan batters managed 20 runs in the first six overs, but pushed the run rate in the latter part of the innings.
After the first wicket fell, the Pakistan Captain appeared at the middle with the intention of batting throughout the innings. The innovative Javeria Khan used her feet on various occasions to hit the Irish bowlers for boundaries and also invented room to play the ball through the off-side. Javeria Khan and Omaima Sohail added 48 runs for the third wicket. Sohail was out caught on the boundary for a supportive 18.
Javeria Khan reached her half-century with an empathic four, chipping downwards slogging the ball into the wide long-on boundary. She took a liking to the Irish leg-spinner, Celeste Raack in the 17th over, smashing three consecutive boundaries soon after her half-century.
In Pakistan’s first five overs, they scored 17 runs in contrast to 48 runs scored in the final five overs. Lucy O’Reilly bowled a brilliant 20th over conceding only four runs as Pakistan concluded their innings of 139-6 in 20 overs.
Javeria Khan ended unbeaten with her splendid 74 from 52 balls, including 11 boundaries. Zafar and Sohail contributed 21 and 18 respectively. Ireland’s opening bowler, O’Reilly, was the pick of the bowlers with 3-19 in her four overs inclusive of one maiden over. Raack and Ciara Metcalfe ended with one wicket each.
The experienced Irish opener Clare Shillington once more produced a decent start for her team as is required to complete a successful run chase. Ireland were filled with hope at the point where Shillington stroked five boundaries in a short period of time. Teenager Gabby Lewis was removed in the third over with the score on 14, but Shillington continued to entertain the crowd with her aggressive stroke-play; however, she lost her wicket when the effective Nashra Sandhu shattered the stumps.
Pakistan bowlers remained on target as the fielders backed up the disciplined bowling. Isobel Joyce occupied the crease and batted cautiously in her innings of 30 off 31 deliveries. Besides Shillington and Joyce, all the other Irish batters failed to reach double figures as the four Pakistan bowlers picked up two wickets. Sana Mir, Aiman Anwer, Sandhu and Aliya Riaz sealed off the complete bowling performance when they restricted Ireland to 101-9 in 20 overs.
Pakistan will play their final group match against New Zealand on Thursday, November 15 while Ireland will play the same opponent on Saturday, November 17.