Pakistan, Sri Lanka eye crucial ICC points

With no wins in the ICC Women’s Championship yet, Sri Lanka will be desperate to rake in some crucial points when they take on Pakistan in the three-match One-Day International series starting on Tuesday (March 20). Sri Lanka have played three matches so far, against Windies, and lost the series 0-3. They’ll be hoping to use home advantage against Pakistan who’ve managed just one win, against New Zealand, in the three games they’ve played.

When Sri Lanka toured the Caribbean, their batting fragility came to haunt them. They failed to cross 165 in all three ODIs and handed Windies three easy wins. It’ll be crucial the batters give the bowlers the much-needed cushion of runs on the board and boost the chances of the side as well.

For starters, they’ll have Chamari Atapattu in their line-up but she’ll have to cope with the additional responsibility of leading the side. While Pakistan will certainly target the Sri Lanka captain, the hosts will hope the other batters are able to chip in with crucial contributions as well.

Pakistan took the call of dropping Ayesha Zafar on current form and recalled pace bowler Kainat Imtiaz in the 15-member squad. Zafar’s poor run continued even after the 2017 World Cup as the left-handed opener could muster only two runs in as many innings against New Zealand before being dropped from the eleven. She played one T20I of the four-game series that followed and made just nine runs.

Senior all-rounder Nida Dar, who last played an international during the Women’s Asia Cup in Thailand in 2016, has been recalled to make up for the absence of Asmavia Iqbal, who ended her 12-year cricket career in January and turned selector.

The batting plans will revolve around Javeria Khan and Nahida Khan while Diana Baig and Sana Mir will have to shoulder the bowling responsibilities. The series, though, could well be decided by which batting unit performs better. (Courtesy