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Women's Academy narrowly beaten

Fran Wilson’s half-century and a fine all-round display from Sonia Odedra proved in vain as England Women’s Academy suffered a three-wicket defeat to Pakistan women in their 50-over clash at Loughborough University.

The academy had emerged victorious in Thursday’s Twenty20 clash, but were unable to defend a total of 174 for seven on this occasion.

Nain Abidi anchored Pakistan’s successful chase with a patient innings of 65 not out, while Asmavia Iqbal added a crucial 20 from number eight after coming in with 49 still required.

The hosts chose to bat and made a cautious start through a stand of 55 between skipper Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight that spanned almost 20 overs.

Sadia Yousuf removed both openers and the academy soon found themselves 97 for four as Susie Rowe and Natasha Miles fell cheaply.

Yet Wilson, pictured, held firm to reach 55 from 77 balls, with a solitary four, and received able support from Odedra, who added 37.

The pair were not parted until the 48th over when Yousuf struck again for the first of three late Pakistan breakthroughs.

When Alice Davidson-Richards and Odedra each struck in their second overs, the tourists were in trouble at five for two.

Abidi provided stability, however, sharing 77 with Bismah Maroof and refusing to buckle even when wickets started to tumble again.

The academy plugged away, removing Asmavia and Qanita Jalil to leave Pakistan eight down and still 13 short, but wicketkeeper Batool Fatima partnered Abidi to the finish line.

England’s senior side play the first of two one-day internationals with Pakistan women at Louth CC on Monday.

Loughborough will then host the second game two days later, together with a T20 double-header on Friday.

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