Wicketkeeper-batter Muneeba Ali set up an impressive win for Pakistan in the Women’s T20 World Cup with a match-changing century against Ireland in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The 70-run triumph put Pakistan in the third spot in the group with two points after England and India secured first and second positions, respectively, with their back-to-back victories in the first two matches. Pakistan lost to India in the first game of the tournament on Feb 12.
According to Cricinfo, Muneeba became the first woman to score a T20I hundred for Pakistan and only the sixth to score one in a T20 World Cup.
Pakistan bowlers dismissed the Irish batting side to a meagre total of 95 with Nashra Sandhi claiming four scalps, followed by Nida Dar and Sadia Iqbal, who took two each, and Tuba Hassan’s one as the team defended a formidable 165.
Muneeba’s 102 off 68 balls helped Pakistan pose a competitive total at a loss of five wickets, while Dar’s 33 in the later part of the innings was another notable contribution for Team Green. No other player could enter the double digits.
In a post-match talk following her match-winning knock, Muneeba credited batting partner Dar with encouraging her at a crucial point of the innings.
“I was very confident when I got out there. When I made a start in the powerplay I thought it would be my day and I could make it count,” she said.
“Then I had a partnership with Nida and she was always telling me to keep going and score big.
“So from the 12th or 13th over I felt I could make a hundred, and she pushed me. I was playing with my feet and trying to understand where they were trying to bowl and make a plan where I could find a boundary,” Muneeba continued.
“I want to dedicate my (Player of the Match) award to my captain (Bismah Maroof) and my teammates. We had a bad game (against India) and we fight a lot, but everyone is happy today.”