Lanning, Litchfield give Australia comfortable win over Pakistan – Sport

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BRISBANE: Half-centuries by captain Meg Lanning and opener Phoebe Litchfield saw the Australian women’s cricket team comfortably beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the opening fixture of the three-match One-day International series at the Allan Border Field on Monday.

The hosts chased down a 158-run revised target after the rain-affected match was reduced to 40 overs per side with 11 overs to spare.

Lanning and Litchfield put up 137 for the second wicket after the latter lost her partner Beth Mooney early after she was cleaned up by Pakistan pacer Diana Baig, who was making her comeback after missing out in the Ireland series in November last year due to shoulder injury.

Pakistan could have made it tougher for Australia had Muneeba Ali held on to a catching opportunity at point off fast bowler Fatima Sana to dismiss Lanning, who was playing at six at that point.

PAKISTAN batter Nida Dar plays a stroke through the off-side during the first One-day International against Australia at the Allan Border Field on Monday.—courtesy PCB

There was no looking back for the Australian skipper then. The right-hander smashed nine boundaries in her 76-ball knock for 67 before falling to Omaima Sohail’s spin.

Litchfield, on the other hand, took Australia over the line with a contribution of 78 runs off 92 balls with the help of nine fours and six.

Earlier, Pakistan were helped by all-rounder Nida Dar’s half-century, who arrived at the crease with the visitors reeling at 3-38.

Nida started Pakistan’s rescue with a 46-run partnership with captain Bismah Maroof — who added 28 off 46 — before contributions by Aliya Riaz (11) and Sidra Nawaz (14) took the side to a competitive total.

In process, Nida played 88 deliveries for her 59 runs and hit five fours and a six before getting dismissed by Jessica Jonassen, who took two wickets — as many as Darcie Brown’s.

The second ODI will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.

Summarised scores:

PAKISTAN 160-8 in 40 overs (Nida Dar 59, Bismah Maroof 28, Sidra Nawaz 14 not out; Darcie Brown 2-21, Jessica Jonassen 2-23); AUSTRALIA 158-2 in 28.5 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 78 not out, Meg Lanning 67).

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2023

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