Although their male counterparts are more popular back home and across the globe, Pakistan women are now ranked better than them. Pakistan men’s team is ranked at 7th spot.
The ICC Women’s Championship is a qualifying tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 with the top four sides earning automatic qualification for the event to be staged in England, while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in 2017.
The tournament structure sees each team will play each other in one home or away series that will include three ODIs over a two and a half year period. As such, each side is guaranteed at least 21 ODIs over the tournament period.
Pakistan claimed the first spoils in the three-ODI series when it defeated Sri Lanka by five wickets in a game, which saw the tourists’ batting duo Chamari Jayangani (49) and wicketkeeper MADD Surangika (43) propel its side to a score of 178 for 8, with the wickets being shared around by the Pakistan attack, with left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf returning two wickets for 28. In reply, Pakistan opener Marina Iqbal’s 69, with contributions from Javeria Khan (30) and Nida Dar (37 not out) helping their side chase down the total with eight balls to spare.
In a low-scoring second ODI in Sharjah, Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 138, with Sugandika Kumari the pick of the bowlers returning figures of three for 24 off her eight overs. Pakistan captain Sana Mir’s 34 not out swelled the score and her spell of two for 22 helped restrict Sri Lanka to 126 all out, with Bismah Mahroof (three for 14) and Sadia Yousuf again (three for 28) the pick of the bowlers.
In the final game on Tuesday, Sri Lanka put in its best performance boosted by an innings of 99 from the in-form Jayangani, with contributions from H.A.S.D. Siriwardene (39 not out) and wicketkeeper Prasadani Weerakkody (32) to reach 242 for five wickets from its allotted overs. Sana Mir’s off-spin claimed two wickets for 35 from her spell. In response, Pakistan opener Javeria Khan recorded the highest personal score of the series with 133 not out, which was the Karachi-born player’s first century of her ODI career. Mir also chipped in with 51 not out to help chase down the tally with 16 balls to spare.
As a consequence, in the latest Reliance ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings for Batters, Sri Lanka’s Jayangani has moved up four places to a career-high joint ninth position alongside Australia’s Jessica Cameron on 580 points, while Pakistan’s Javeria Khan has moved up two places to a career high 13th.
However, the biggest movers from either camp were Sri Lanka duo Dilani Surangika in 51st spot (up eight places) and Prasadani Weerakkody (up 18 places to a career high 85th), while there were also significant advances for Pakistan duo Sana Mir (up 13 places to 63rd) and Marina Iqbal (up 22 places to 72nd).
In the Reliance ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings for Bowlers, there was no change in the top 10, however Sri Lanka off-spinner H.A.S.D. Siriwardene has moved up three places to 16th. Sana Mir is Pakistan’s highest ranked bowler in seventh place, 22 points adrift of West Indies’ Shanel Daley. The biggest mover from either side was Pakistan’s Sumaiya Siddiqui (up six places to a career high 52nd) and Inoka Ranaweera (up 12 places to a career high 48th).
Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies continues to lead the bowlers’ and all-rounders’ tables.
In the fourth and final series of the second round, fifth-placed England will travel to face bottom-placed New Zealand in February with all three ODIs taking place in Mount Maunganui.