Pakistan rose victorious against Ireland in a one-sided match by a gigantic lead of 70 runs. With a powerful and historical knock of 102 from Muneeba Ali who later won the Player of the Match award, Pakistan shifted up in the Points Table.
After a defeat in the very first match of the T20 World Cup against India, Pakistan was once again out for the square-off against Ireland. Ireland won the toss and despite the most chosen decisions in the tournament so far, they elected to bowl first. Pakistan had Tuba Hassan replacing Sidra Ameen.
Orla Prendergast commenced the bowling attack which was entertained well by Muneeba Ali on the very second ball of the match that was hit for a boundary and a similar in the next over’s third ball by Jane Maguire. Pakistan was going through a poised start with a boundary coming in each over which was further manifested in the third over by Ali for a third boundary from her bat.
With Ali sweeping out a boundary in each of the first five overs to build the momentum of runs get going, Javeria Khan fell short to help her co-opener in the long run and met her run-out at just 6 off 13 balls. The powerplay summarized at 45 for 1.
New down, Bismah Maroof too couldn’t match the momentum of the game that Ali was trying to set and departed at a mere 4 off 6 as Laura Delany chuckled the spell on her side. Nida Dar and Ali stepped back a bit to hunt it forward and kept the scoreboard moving and running swift with incessant rotation of strikes and timely boundaries from each in the ninth and fourteenth over.
As Ali was nearing her gigantic century, Dar came up with the first maximum of the match on the first ball of the fifteenth over followed by Ali’s boundary in the same over and other two same consecutives from the latter in the next over.
Ali looked phenomenal today with her bat as she swung every ball with utmost care to send it across for fence-touches. And it was Muneeba Ali-day tonight which saved her on the first ball of the nineteenth over from a run-out. And in the same over, Ali created history for Pakistan with a driven away boundary and becoming Pakistan’s first Women T20I centurion.
After a breath-taking and heart-throbbing 102-run knock, it was time for Ali to take some rest prior to the fielding, as Leah Paul finally dismissed her on the last ball of the nineteenth over. Dar was next to depart on the very first ball of the final over before Ayesha Naseem gifting Pakistan the second six of the fixture and later getting stumped on the last ball of the innings to summarize at 165 for 5.
Gaby Lewis and Amy Hunter were buckled up in the second half of the match to chase down the not-so-easy target against a tightened Pakistan bowling attack. First over could only bring a double and a single by Hunter but Ireland was jostled with an early wicket of Hunter in the second over.
Gaby Lewis structured some confidence to bring the first boundary of the chase in the third over’s fifth ball followed by a poised Orla Prendergast’s superfluous attitude in the very first seconds of her arrival that accumulated runs off her two boundaries and a gigantic six in the fourth over. But Lewis had to depart in the middle with only 10 runs to add from her end.
Prendergast, although looked in great touch, had to walk back into the pavilion after smashing two back-to-back boundaries in the eighth over. Laura Delany was next to line-up the queue of dismissals followed by Louise Little even after Eimear Richardson showed some confidence to collect two boundaries in the eleventh over.
Adhering to the swelling asking-rate, Richardson rose up with three consecutive fours in the thirteenth over before being secluded by Nashra Sandhu on the fourth ball of the fourteenth over followed by Mary Waldron’s wicket in the same spell. And a series of dismissals of Arlene Kelly, Cara Murray and Leah Paul in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth over respectively brought the conclusion of the match that rewarded Pakistan their first win of the tournament.