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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Tuba Hassan gets best figures for a Pakistan debutant and helps down Sri Lanka with ease

Tuba Hassan has a dream debut with the ball, picking up 3 for 8 PCB

Pakistan women 107 for 4 (Dar 36*, Maroof 28, Ranasinghe 2-20) beat Sri Lanka women 106 for 8 (Tuba 3-8, Amin 3-21, Anwer 2-32) by six wickets

Legspinner Tuba Hassan enjoyed a fairtytale 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 Anwer rocked Nilakshi de Silva's leg stump, Sri Lanka had lost their most dangerous batter, and 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.

But Iram Javed, who had a penchant for skipping down the crease without quite getting to the pitch, paid the price upon trying that once too often, and finding herself stumped. Kavisha Dilhari struck to remove Muneeba as she tried to lap over fine leg, and by the halfway stage, Pakistan were behind Sri Lanka in the game.

It was Dar who took control of the game decisively for Pakistan. With Maroof a reliable anchor at the other end, Dar was proactive in her search for runs, with regular ones and twos mixed in with the occasional boundary. Before you noticed, the asking rate and the runs required were both coming down, and Pakistan were suddenly coasting to a straightforward win. By the time Maroof holed out at mid-on, Pakistan required just 11 further runs. In the 19th over, it took Dar just two balls to get there with panache, smashing the innings' only six off the first, before an easy single finished the job.

Pakistan 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st1Muneeba AliGull Feroza
2nd29Iram JavedMuneeba Ali
3rd15Bismah MaroofMuneeba Ali
4th51Bismah MaroofNida Dar
5th11Nida DarAyesha Naseem