Muneeba, Sandhu propel Pakistan to thump Ireland

CAPE TOWN: Pakistan’s left-handed opener Muneeba Ali struck the first-ever century for the nation in Women’s T20Is before Nashra Sandhu led the green shirts to a thumping 70-run victory over Ireland in ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Set to chase a mammoth 166, the Irish batting lineup failed completely against a strong Pakistan bowling attack and bundled out for a meagre 95 runs in the 17th over.

Top-order batter Orla Prendergast offered a brief fightback with her 31-run knock in just 21 deliveries and top-scored for her side, followed by Eimar Richardson, who could score 28.

Besides them, the rest of the Irish batters seemed clueless against Pakistan’s bowling attack, led by Sandhu, who picked up four wickets for just 18 runs.

Sadia Iqbal and Nida Dar bagged two wickets each for Pakistan, while Fatima Sana could take one.

Put into bat first, Pakistan accumulated 165/5 in their allotted 20 overs at the back of a brilliant century by Muneeba.

Muneeba carried her bat till 19 overs and top-scored for the side with 102 off just 68 deliveries, laced with 14 boundaries.

The left-handed batter stitched a magnificent 101-run partnership with all-rounder Nida Dar, who scored 33 off 28 deliveries with the help of two boundaries and a six before perishing in the final over.

Following their dismissal, Aliya Riaz (3*) and Ayesha Naseem (6) powered Pakistan to finish strongly at 165/5 with the latter falling on the final delivery.

Arlene Kelly led the bowling attack for Ireland with 2/27 while Leah Paul and Laura Delany made one scalp each.

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