Fatima Sana shines as Challengers beat Blasters by three wickets

Women's CricZone Staff
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Fatima Sana shines as Challengers beat Blasters by three wickets

Fatima Sana was the Player of the Match thanks to her four-wicket haul. © PCB

An incisive spell of bowling from Fatima Sana, the right-arm seamer, saw PCB Challengers restrict PCB Blasters to a total of 185 for 8, before Javeria Rauf and Diana Baig’s handy contributions helped them complete a three-wicket win in the National Triangular One-Day Women’s Cricket Championship at Lahore Gymkhana on Saturday (September 21).

Having elected to field, Challengers got off to a wonderful start. Rauf made her presence felt early when she ran out a dangerous-looking Ayesha Zafar who had crashed two fours and a six on her way to 14. A few overs later, having tied the batters down, Sana ended Sidra Ameen’s painful stay at the crease— castling her for nine off 37 balls. It was a dismissal that saw Blasters pegged back to 42 for 2 in 15.1 overs.

Following her half-century lower down the order in the second match of the tournament, Kainat Imtiaz found herself promoted to number four. Alongside Umaima Sohail, the young right-hand batter, the held the innings together with a patient 13. When she was run out by Natalia Pervaiz, Sana came back into the attack and picked up two more quick wickets leaving Blasters reeling at 103 for 5.

Sohail however, held the innings together with a well-compiled half-century. While her 121-ball 72 helped build a bit of a base for the lower-middle order, it was the cameos of Almas Akram (23 not out off 20 balls) and Ramin Shamin (12 not out off nine balls) that gave Blasters the boost they needed. Eventually they finished with a competitive 185 for 8 in 50 overs.

Sana accounted for four wickets in her 10 overs, while Syeda Arooba Shah also took two wickets.

In pursuit of 186, early strikes from Aliya Riaz and Waheeda Akhtar pegged Challengers back to 24 for 2 inside the first six overs. A 61-run stand between Rauf and Natalia Pervaiz helped stabilize the innings, before Nashra Sandhu, the wily left-arm spinner, prized out the former’s wicket just two runs shy of her half-century.

85 for 3 soon became 140 for 6 with all of Challengers’ recognsied batters back in the hut— Riaz doing the bulk of the damage. Iram Javed, their hero from the previous match, well set Pervaiz and Sidra Nawaz, the wicket-keeper, were left watching from the sidelines while Baig kept her team in the hunt.

The fast bowler tonked three boundaries and added 30 valuable runs alongside Saba Nazir (12) for the seventh wicket partnership. However, with 16 runs still required for victory, Akhtar removed Nazir to give Blasters hope.

Meanwhile Baig kept her calm, and in the company of Sana polished off the remaining runs in the next two overs. Quite fittingly, it was Sana who scored the winning runs— a boundary off the bowling of Ramin Shamim— to take her team home in 47.2 overs.

Brief scores: PCB Blasters 185/8 in 50 overs (Umaima Sohail 73, Almas Akram 23*; Fatima Sana 4-34, Syeda Arooba Shah 2-29) lost to PCB Challengers 186/7 in 47.2 overs (Javeria Rauf 48, Diana Baig 35*; Aliya Riaz 3-45, Waheeda Akhtar 2-21) by three wickets. PoM: Fatima Sana.