Wyatt-Beaumont show take England 1-0 up against Pakistan
Centuries by Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont handed England a convincing 75-run win against Pakistan in the opening ODI, which is part of the ICC Women’s Championship, at Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (December 9). Subsequently, England added two points to take their tally to 26.
All eyes were on skipper Heather Knight and her team as the series marked the start of the new era for England following the departure of coach Mark Robinson and retirements of swashbuckling wicket-keeper batter Sarah Taylor and seamer Jenny Gunn. The players lived up to the expectations with both bat and ball as they first posted an imposing total of 284 for the loss of six wickets and then bundled out Pakistan for 209 inside 45 overs.
Coming off a drawn series against Bangladesh at home, Pakistan suffered an early wobble as they lost their openers inside three overs. Anya Shrubsole cleaned up Nahida Khan (4) while Katherine Brunt got Sidra Ameen (1) leg-before. Experienced batters Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof took charge of the side and started rebuilding Pakistan’s innings cautiously. The Asian-side reached 35 for the loss of two after 10 overs. Kate Cross ended England’s frustration as she got rid of Javeria for 19, bringing Omaima Sohail to the middle.
Maroof and Sohail took Pakistan past the 100-run mark before Natalie Sciver joined the party and dismissed Sohail for 29. The Pakistan skipper held fort as at one point she was leading from the front but seeing the dismissals at the other end, she eventually became a victim of Cross for 69. Soon after, Pakistan lost their last five wickets for mere 23 runs. For England, Cross was the pick of the bowlers as she finished with four for 32 while Brunt and debutant Sarah Glenn returned with two wickets each.
Earlier, in what seemed like an opportunity to regain their lost confidence after a poor Ashes series at home, surprisingly instead of Amy Jones, Wyatt joined Beaumont to open the innings after electing to bat first. The decision paid off as England got a dream start with the duo providing a solid foundation of 188-run stand thanks to some fine strokeplay coupled with some poor fielding by Pakistan.
The partnership saw the ever-aggressive Wyatt making the most of her opportunity to cement her spot in the XI. She smashed her maiden century off 88 balls, which saw 12 boundaries and three sixes, in her 72nd innings before Pakistan’s frustration came to an end. Skipper Maroof got the much-needed breakthrough as Wyatt gave a return catch for a well-compiled 110.
The dismissal on the last ball of 34th over brought Knight in the middle. Knight along with Beaumont carried the set momentum and soon the England dressing room lauded Beaumont’s innings as the right-hander brought up her 136-ball cautious and patient hundred. Following a slow and steady triple-figure mark, off-spinner Rameen Shamim, who received her international cap earlier in the day, got rid of Beaumont for 107.
The wicket helped Pakistan to at least deny England from reaching the 300-run mark. Nashra Sandhu dismissed Knight for 41 before Shamim returned and picked up two more wickets in quick succession — Fran Wilson (6) and Amy Jones (7) — to finish with three for 61 in her quota of 10 overs.
Brief scores: England 284/6 in 50 overs (Danni Wyatt 110, Tammy Beaumont 107; Rameen Shamim 3/61) beat Pakistan 209/10 in 44.4 overs (Bismah Maroof 69, Aliya Riaz 39; Kate Cross 4/32) by 75 runs. PoTM: Danni Wyatt