ZTBL wins the Departmental T20 Women’s Cricket Championship 2018 - Pakistan

Maryam Mallick
11 May 2018
The Departmental T20 Women’s Cricket Championship 2018 concluded on the 10th of May with Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) Women’s team claiming the title, having defeated Pakistan Cricket Board XI (PCB XI) in the final and State Bank Pakistan (SBP) Women and Higher Education Commission (HEC) Womens’ teams along the way.

Led by former Pakistani skipper Sana Mir, the ZTBL team boasted a star-studded squad of comprising of current Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof, opener Nahida Khan, Pakistan’s in-form batter Javeria Khan, national wicket-keeper Sidra Nawaz and veteran spinner Nida Dar, along with young guns Diana Baig and Nashra Sandhu, as well as Nain Abidi who has recently made a comeback to the national side. Looking at this line-up, one would think this team has won the tournament before it even began!

Throughout the tournament, there were many memorable performances by both, the up-and-coming players and the experienced ones. T20 cricket promises excitement, fast, hard-hitting cricket and the batters delivered. From Bismah Maroof's hammering of an unbeaten 51 off just 22 deliveries to Nain Abidi’s unforgettable 85 not out from 65 deliveries in the final and Hafsa Khalid's’ rapid-fire 72 off 46 balls, the batters entertained. But who says it’s a batters game? This tournament saw exceptional bowling performances from many bowlers, with countless 3-wickets hauls being taken but, Anam Amin and Sania Khan bowled brilliantly, both taking four-fors and finishing with figures of 4-16 and 4-28 respectively in their matches.

All these performances culminated in the final. ZTBL Women came into the final unbeaten and finished the tournament that way, after putting a complete team performance to snag the trophy by a 46 run victory. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, ZTBL Women did not get off to the dream start as they lost opener Muneeba Ali for 1. However, after that, Player of the Final Nain Abidi (85* off 65) combined with Bismah Maroof (65 off 39) for an epic 124-run second wicket stand to ensure her team posted a total that would be near impossible to chase down. This is exactly what she did as she guided her team to put 179-3 on the board, being ably supported by Javeria Khan (11 off 10) and Nida Dar (7 off 4) towards the end. In an innings where the batters dominated, only three wickets fell, with Saba Nazir (1-38), Ramin Shamim (1-26) and Subhana Tariq (1-29) claiming one each.

While chasing, PCB XI suffered severe blows early on with in-form batters Javeria Rauf and Umaima Sohail being dismissed for 9 and 8 runs respectively. Though other openers Sana Taj and Marina Iqbal did try to salvage the innings by a 37 run stand for the 4th wicket, after they were accounted for, the ZTBL Women were in control of the game, taking wickets at regular intervals, not allowing the batters to settle in and maintaining pressure by fielding well. Diana Baig, Sana Mir, and Almas Akram tore through the PCB XI line-up picking up 2 scalps each, with Nida Dar also picking up a wicket. This resulted in the PCB XI only manage 133-9 in reply from their 20 overs as they lost by 46 runs against a side that was just too good that day and ZTBL Women lifted the trophy, being crowned champions of the Departmental T20 Women’s Cricket Championship 2018.