Nain Abidi Strees Pakistan to victory


London June 22 (TNS): Half-centuries by Nain Abidi and Bismah Maroof helped Pakistan chase down West Indies’ target of 246 with two overs to spare while Elyse Villani’s 137 led Australia past South Africa in the ICC Women’s World Cup warm-up matches played here at various venues.

In Leicester, Pakistan’s clash with the West Indies went down to the wire, but Nain Abidi’s unbeaten 81 was the difference in a five-wicket triumph at Grace Road. The Windies made full use of its 50 overs, reaching a total of 246-7 as Felicia Walters top scored with 59 before she was caught by Nain off the bowling of Sadia Yousaf (1-44).

Wicketkeeper Merissa Aguilleira also impressed with 43 runs, while Shanel Daley produced a thrilling cameo for spectators in Leicester as she bashed 24 off just 12 balls. Early wickets for the 2013 finalist had Pakistan wobbling on 63 for three, but when Bismah (75) and Nain came to the crease the result never looked in doubt as their 141-run partnership put their side in the driving seat, Kainat Imtiaz (14 not out) eventually sealing victory in the 48th over.

Meanwhile, Australia ramped up its preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup with a comfortable 103 runs victory over South Africa on Tuesday. Elyse Villani stole the headlines at Oakham School as she plundered 137 runs from 112 balls – finding the boundary rope no fewer than 20 times in a scintillating innings, with the reigning World Cup champion posting a score of 324 for five.

She was ably supported by Ellyse Perry, who made 67 before being run out by Nadine de Klerk, before veteran Alex Blackwell and Alyssa Healy also chipped in with quick-fire knocks of 32 and 25 respectively. The Proteas’ run chase got off to the worst possible start when Lizelle Lee was run out by Beth Mooney without even facing a ball, and opening partner Andrie Steyn (12) followed shortly after as she was caught trapped in front by Jess Jonassen.

Trisha Chetty did offer some resistance with a measured 62, as did skipper Dane van Niekerk, who also notched up a half century, but Australia turned the screw and bowled tightly for all 50 overs – with Jonassen the pick of the attack, taking three wickets. Australia faces Pakistan on 22 June, and South Africa plays West Indies in the final WWC warm-up matches ahead of the tournament.



WEST INDIES: 246-7 in 50 overs (Felicia Walters 59, Merissa Aguilleira 43, Hayley Matthews 32; Sana Mir 2-46, Asmavia Iqbal 1-31, Sadia Yousaf 1-44).

PAKISTAN: 249-5 in 47.4 overs (Nain Abidi 81 not out, Bismah Maroof 75, Ayesha Zafar 29; Shamilia Connell 2-39, Stafanie Taylor 1-29).

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Nain Abidi (Pakistan).


AUSTRALIA: 324-5 in 50 overs (Elyse Villani 137, Ellyse Perry 67, Alex Blackwell 32 not out; Ayabonga Khaka 2-47, Marizanne Kapp 1-20, Masabata Klaas 1-50).

SOUTH AFRICA: 221 all out in 49.3 overs (Trisha Chetty 62, Dane van Niekerk 54, Nadine de Klerk 32; Jess Jonassen 3-29, Belinda Vakarewa 2-34, Ashleigh Gardner 1-15).

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Elyse Villani (Australia).


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