Pakistan women hope to keep going

While Bangladesh has lost all its three games so far and is out of reckoning, a win would help Pakistan stay in the race for a semifinal spot.

Pakistan skipper Sana Mir will be hoping to get a thumping win over Bangladesh.   -  AP

Confident after two close games and a morale-boosting win against host India in its previous encounter at the same venue, Pakistan’s Sana Mir and her girls would be hoping to continue their good form when they take on Bangladesh in their third Group B game of the women’s World Twenty20 at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium here on Thursday.

The Pakistan team edged past India, courtesy a dominating performance with both bat and ball and a little help from Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, and its familiarity with the conditions here would give it an edge against Bangladesh in the crucial game. While Bangladesh has lost all its three games so far and is out of reckoning, a win would help Pakistan stay in the race for a semifinal spot.

Given that its last group match would be against former champion England, Sana has admitted she would be hoping to register a comprehensive win in case it goes down to the net run rate. The match would also be important to ascertain India’s chances of remaining in the race for the knockouts.

Pakistan has won all six Twenty20 Internationals played so far against Bangladesh and on form appears favourite to continue the record. Every department of the team has contributed in both its games so far, even though it lost narrowly to the West Indies.

Against India, Sana utilised her spin resources superbly even as youngster Anam Amin picked up her second Player of the Match in as many games. That, however, doesn’t discount the pace attack at her disposal while the batting has shone as well.

For Bangladesh skipper Jahanara Alam, this would be a face-saver more than anything else. The lanky pacer has admitted to abysmal bowling and fielding by her team and upset at the players repeating mistakes in the field. “Hopefully we will do better in our last game,” she said after losing to the West Indies. That, however, looks unlikely given the team’s performances so far.

AUSTRALIA TAKES ON LANKA

The other game of the double header on Thursday would see defending champion Australia take on Sri Lanka in Group A, hoping to get back to winning ways after suffering a six-wicket defeat to trans-Tasmanian rival New Zealand.

A two-time champion Meg Lanning’s team is tied on points with Sri Lanka with a win and loss apiece. However, it is favourite to win this encounter against a side that it is yet to play a T20 International against and has crushed in all three ODIs played so far. While New Zealand has already qualified for the semifinals from the group by virtue of winning all its three games so far, a win for Australia here would be important in its pursuit of a hat-trick.

Sri Lanka, despite losing all-rounder captain Shashikala Siriwardene to injury, bounced back to win against Ireland in its previous game and with Sugandika Kumari’s left-arm spin doing the most damage.