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

Pakistani women 107 for 4 (Dar 36*, Maof 28, Ranasinghe 2-20) beat Sri Lankan women 106 for 8 (Tuba 3-8, Amin 3-21, Anwer 2-32) with six wickets

Legspinner Tuba Hassan enjoyed a fairytale debut as she led Pakistan to an easy six wicket win in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Karachi.
In the tenth over, her four-over stint blew through the Sri Lankan middle order, conceding just eight runs, throwing a maiden en route and taking three wickets. A somewhat conservative Sri Lanka was held to 106 for 8. Pakistan started slow, losing three early wickets of their own, but a 51-run tie between Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar put them back on track, with Dar’s unbeaten 27-ball 36 winning ensured Pakistan reached the goal with ten balls left.
Sri Lanka chose to bat first, losing wickets in each of Anam Amin’s first two overs, including Chamari Athapaththu’s all-important wicket. Pakistan kept things tight, and even a 38-run third-wicket tie never quite threatened to take the game away from them. As Sri Lanka was content to take singles rather than push boundaries, the spinners felt encouraged to fly the ball liberally and get into their rhythm from the get-go. When Aiman ​​Anwer rocked Nilakshi de Silva’s leg stump, Sri Lanka had lost their most dangerous striker and all hopes of pushing the target to a run-a-ball faded.

If the fans – and there was a sizable contingent – thought Pakistan would light the target, the Sri Lankan bowlers dismissed that idea pretty quickly. Pakistan kept things tight and was forced to retreat to their shell early on, with Sugandika Kumari Gull removing Feroza in the first crossing. Muneeba Ali and Iram Javed, who both fell for 18, spent much of the power play regrouping and trying to take the sting out of the early attack, meaning the scoring of points was somewhat staid.

But Iram Javed, who had a tendency to jump through the crease without making it all the way on the field, paid the price by trying that one too many times, only to find herself stuck. Kavisha Dilhari struck to remove Muneeba as she tried to lap her fine leg, and by mid-stage Pakistan was behind Sri Lanka in the game.

It was Dar who took over the game decisively for Pakistan. With Maof a reliable anchor at the other end, Dar was proactive in her quest for runs, with regular ones and twos mixed in with the occasional border. Before you noticed, both the asking price and the required runs dropped, and Pakistan was suddenly heading for an uncomplicated victory. By the time Maof reached the halfway mark, Pakistan only needed 11 more runs. In the 19th over, Dar needed just two balls to get there with panache, crushing only six of the first innings, before an easy single finished the job.

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