The two captains shake hands at the pre-series press conference. © Sri Lanka Cricket

The second round of ICC Women’s Championship starts for the hosts Sri Lanka as Pakistan team takes them on in the 3-match ODI series which starts on 20th of March at Dambulla. The other two games of the series will be played on 22nd and 24th March at the same venue.

Both the side met last time in the World Cup last year in England where Sri Lanka managed to go past the Pakistani side as they won the solidarity win in the World Cup. For Pakistan, the story was even horrific, the loss against the Sri Lankans was their 13th straight loss in the World Cup.

Pakistan’s last outing in the one-dayers was against New Zealand in the 1st round of the World Cup qualifier where they faced the Kiwis in 3-match series. They lost the series 2-1 but they did provide a tough challenge to the New Zealanders.

Pakistan boasts a number of experienced all-rounders in the form of their skipper Bismah MaroofJaveria Khan and Sana Mir who is a terrific bowler who can be a handy batswoman when needed. Pakistan have recalled Nida Dar, another all-rounder to their side. Opener Nahida Khan was in decent form in the series earlier against New Zealand. They will be hoping for a similar outing from the right-handed batter.

In the bowling department, Diana Baig along with  20-year-old Nashra Sandhu will lead Pakistan’s attack. However, Pakistan will miss the services of left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf who has been not picked for the series.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were thumped by Windies in their last outing in the first 3 matches of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship.

Chamari Atapattu has been named as the skipper of Sri Lankan side whose batting flopped for them terribly in the series against the West Indies. Atapattu will have to lead her side from the front if they have to stand chances against strong spin-attack of Pakistan. Chamari Polgampola and Dilani Manodara will have to be on their top game to help their skipper in the batting department. Eshani Lokusuriyage can chip in with both bat and ball as and when needed for the Sri Lankans.

The experienced duo of Shashikala Siriwardene and Inoka Ranaweera (who has been snubbed from the position of the captain) will lead Sri Lanka’s spin department while Sripali Weerakkody will take charge as the pace bowling leader.

With a number of experienced spinners to their sides, the side which handles the spinners well can stand the chance of winning the series.

Pakistan: Nahida Khan, Sidra Ameen, Javeria Khan, Bismah Maroof (c), Muneeba Ali, Sidra Nawaz, Sana Mir, Nida Dar, Kainat Imtiaz, Natalia Pervaiz, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima, Diana Baig, Aiman Anwer, Fareeha Mehmood.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Atapattu(c), Prasadani Weerakkody, Dilani Manodara, Nipuni Hansika, Hasini Perera, Rebeca Vandort, Chamari Polgampola, Shashikala Siriwardene, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, Sripali Weerakkody, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Inoshi Priyadharshani.

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