Pak eye inspired show against NZ, Aus face SA in Women WC

Handed a morale-shattering defeat by the former champions Australia in their tournament opener, Pakistan will have to regroup themselves quickly to put up an inspired show against last year's runners-up New Zealand in the ICC Women's World Cup, here tomorrow.

The Sana Mir-led Pakistani side was skittled out for a paltry 84 in 33.2 overs by Australia while chasing a gettable target of 176 in 50 overs at the Barabati Stadium.

Pakistan's pace and spin duo of Asmavia Iqbal and Sadia Yousuf did well to restrict a formidable outfit like Australia well under 200 runs but their batting order crumbled as only two batsmen had scores in double figures.

Pakistan failed to build on partnerships which hurt the team chase badly against the mighty Aussies and this is one area where they need to improve quickly if they fancy their chances of advancing to the Super Six stage of the eight-nation tournament.

Mir, who has the experience of playing in 53 ODIs, will have to lead from the front to inspire confidence in others while Nain Fatima Abidi, Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan will have to shoulder the middle-order responsibilty.

Their top and middle-order need to fire in unison against a formidable outfit like New Zealand who, on the other day, ended up scoring a massive 320 for five against minnows South Africa.

Pakistan have an experienced bowling unit in Qanita Jalil, Asmavia, Yousuf and Mir and it would be interesting to see whether they can produce another good show against the Black Caps.

On the other hand, New Zealand rode on Sophie Devine's quickfire 131-ball 145 to thrash South Africa by 150 in their opening Group 'B' match yesterday.

New Zealand produced an all-round show to first post a total in excess of 300 runs and then bundled out the Proteas for 170 runs with nine overs to spare at the DRIEMS Ground, Tangi.

... contd.

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