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Pakistan clinch historic win

Qanita Jalil

Qanita Jalil steams in during her three-wicket spell which set up Pakistan's first win at a World Cup

Qanita Jalil claimed three wickets as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 57 runs to record their first win at a women's World Cup and the first time they have beaten their opponents in 19 attempts.

Pakistan posted 161 for seven before dismissing winless Sri Lanka for 101 in under 40 overs in the Group B encounter at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, a solid opening partnership of 47 between Nain Abidi (26) and Bismah Maroof (10) built the foundations for Pakistan.

SajJida Shah hit 21, captain Urooj Mumtaz 20 and Sana Mir 21 not out boosted Pakistan’s total, while Eshani Lokusooriya, skipper Shashikala Siriwardena and Suwini de Alwis claimed two wickets each for Sri Lanka.

De Alwis was the pick of the bowlers with 2-19 from 10 overs.

Jalil (3-33) had Sri Lanka on the ropes inside seven overs as she removed the top three to leave their reply in tatters at 28 for three.

Siriwardena provided the resistance with a spirited 58 off 111 balls, but with Dedunu de Silva (13) the only other reaching double figures, Pakistan secured the win.

“I am proud of my team,” Urooj said. “It was a complete team effort and every player played her role to perfection.

"The batters stayed at the wicket to ensure we played out 50 overs while the bowlers bowled straight and were excellently back up by the fielders.

“However, Qanita and Sana stand out for their contributions. The two played very responsible cricket and today if we can eye a place in the Super Six stage, it is largely because of these two girls.

“All in all, it was a performance to be proud of and couldn’t have come at a better time when we prepare to play England in the last group match. Our feet are still on ground as we know plenty of cricket still has to be played in the tournament and anything can happen.

“There is always a first time and I am glad that we ended our win drought in the World Cup and also against Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t like to make tall claims but we would aim and try to beat teams we have never beaten before.”