After suffering three defeats in a row, Pakistan women’s cricket team face another uphill task when they meet formidable Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup on Wednesday at Grace Road, Leicester.
Defending champions Australia have won their first three matches at the ICC Women’s World Cup but their all-rounder Ellyse Perry says the team is solely focused on taking each game as it comes.
The Aussies comfortably beat New Zealand by five wickets in the previous match.
Perry smashed 71 in an impressive performance but says the team is not getting ahead of itself.
“Pakistan will be a great challenge. The way this tournament and format is set up, we don’t have an easy game,” said Perry. “It’s really nice to win and be positive but we will refocus on each match. We haven’t really spoken about any other match apart from the one ahead of us.
“Every match is a bit of a challenge. We’ve seen teams knock one another off with it being a bit unexpected. For us, we would just like to keep building and hopefully improving with each match. That’s really the key.”
Six-time champions Australia are tied with India at six points from three games each but are placed second owing to India’s better net run-rate while Pakistan are still looking for their first points after doing well in patches against South Africa and India.
Pakistan impressed in the bowling department against India with Nashra Sundhu taking an impressive four for 26. But they were massively let down in the batting department with Sana Mir (29) and Bibi Nahida (23) the only players to reach double figures as they were bowled out for just 74.
Bowler Diana Baig though is looking at the positives ahead of the crunch game with Australia.
“We’re trying to prepare for the next matches and we’re positive for the Australia match that we will do well.
“It’s an amazing feeling to play against Australia, but it’s just a team. I want to play against the next team,” Diana said.
“Our fielding and bowling were 100 per cent but our batting [against India] didn’t click and we will bounce back in our next match.”
PAKISTAN: Sana Mir (captain), Asmavia Iqbal, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Ghulam Fatima, Iram Javed, Javeria Wadood, Kainat Imtiaz, Marina Iqbal, Bibi Nahida, Nain Abidi, Nashra Sundhu, Sadia Yousaf, Sidra Nawaz, Waheeda Akhter.
AUSTRALIA: Meg Lanning (captain), Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Alex Blackwell, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington