19/04/2024

Both Pakistan and Australia will be eager to win the ODI and T20 series ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa. (Photo: Cricket Australia)

Pakistan will travel down to Australia to play ODI and Twenty20 games ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa this year. The tour will kick off with the first ODI to be played on Monday in Queensland.

As the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa inches closer and closer, the Australian women’s team will take on Pakistan in the build-up to the tournament. They will play three one-day internationals, followed by three Twenty20 games.

This will be the last chance players in either team will get to prove themselves to selectors for a spot in the World Cup starting side.

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Australia

Australia finished the 2022 cricket season playing five Twenty20 games against India. Continuing its good form, Australia won four games with its only loss occurring in a super over.

The top three run-scorers on the tour were Australian with Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath, all scoring over 145 runs. In the bowling department, Ashleigh Gardner and Heather Graham took seven wickets each.

Pakistan

Pakistan head into Australia off the back of three ODI and three T20I matches against Ireland. During the games, Pakistan won all three ODI by a large margin of victory; 128 runs, 9 wickets and 5 wickets. In the Twenty20 games, Pakistan only managed to win one of the three.

Pakistan were outclassed by Ireland in the limited-overs format, only being able to defeat them in the match that had reduced overs. Ireland was able to defeat them by 6 wickets, followed by a 34 runs victory.

During the ODI’s in the tour, Sidra Ameen topped the run-scoring list with 277 runs, while Ghulam Fatima and Nashra Sandhu managed eight and seven wickets a piece.

In the Twenty20 matches, Nida Dar and Nashra Sandhu both took four wickets with the ball. While Nida Dar was equally outstanding with the bat, scoring 115 runs.

Last Time They Met

The last time Australia and Pakistan met was in July 2022 when they competed in a Twenty20 Tri-Nation Women’s series alongside Ireland. However, the games against each other were disappointing as both were abandoned due to weather and no result was reached.

In the first game, only eight overs were played but that didn’t stop an Aussie bowling demolition. The stand-out bowlers were Alana King and Ashleigh Gardner. King took 3/8 in one over while Gardner followed, taking 2/11 off two overs.

In the following game, the Aussie bowlers once again took apart the Pakistan batters. Keeping Pakistan to 98 runs in 20 overs, Jess Jonassen took 4/17 backing up Nicola Carey who took 2/16.

Despite the low score, Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof was the highlight of the batting. She scored 32 runs, batting at No. 4.

Key Players

Meg Lanning

Returning from a five-month absence from international cricket, captain Meg Lanning will be the main player to keep an eye on especially with the injured Alyssa Healy not playing against Pakistan.

Excited to be back on the field, she will be looking to reclaim good form ahead of the World Cup. In both the ODI and T20 games, she will have lots of time to cement an inning coming in at Number 3.

Lanning averages 36.48 runs in T20I and 53.13 runs in ODI with the bat. She will be looking to add more centuries to her resume when Australia take on Pakistan.

“She’s straight back into, dominating, and she brings a whole freshness and new energy to the group, so we’re really excited to have her back,” vice-captain Tahlia McGrath said.

“In the nets and in the field… she hasn’t missed anything.”

Kim Garth

Still having not cemented her spot in the Australian team ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup, this will be the last chance Kim Garth will have to impress the selectors.

The bowling all-rounder is eyeing her second one-day international debut, having previously represented Ireland in international cricket. Not only will she be a player to watch when Australia is bowling but also in the final overs with the bat.

In ODI Garth has taken 23 with the ball whilst scoring 448 runs for Ireland. She has also amassed 762 runs with the bat and 43 in T20I.

Sidra Amin

While captain Bismah Mahroof is the most likely to top the runs for Pakistan, Sidra Amin had an amazing 12 months with the bat. The opener is looking to keep her confidence going with the World Cup on the horizon.

The Lahore batter has scored 1281 runs in ODI’s with a top score of 176. This includes five half-centuries and three centuries. In the T20I arena, she averages 16.50 with the bat.

“I am here in Australia for the first time, the conditions here are different to Pakistan as the ball rises a bit and I am trying to acclimatise as quickly as possible,” Amin said.

“When you perform individually it helps your team, I will try to score runs which will ultimately benefit my team.”

“The message from coach and captain is very simple, go out and play positive cricket, score runs for the team and help the team do well.”

Diana Baig

Fast bowler Diana Baig has returned from injury to take on Australia in both the ODI and T20I games. A veteran of the Pakistan team, the tour of Australia will show how much of an impact the injury had on her.

Pakistan is hoping she can return with the same ferociousness with the ball before she was sidelined.

With the ball, Baig has taken 40 wickets in ODI with the best bowling figures of 4/30. In Twenty20, she is equally strong with the ball with a variety of different variations and speeds. She has taken 27 wickets across 37 games for Pakistan with an economy rate of 5.69.

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Predicted XI’s

Australia: Beth Mooney (wk), Phoebe Litchfield, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Alana King, Kim Garth, Megan Schutt

Pakistan: Muneeba Ali (wk), Sidra Ameen, Bismah Maroof, Nida Dar, Ayesha Nassem, Aliya Riaz, Omaima Sohail, Fatima Sana, Diana Baig, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima

The Squads

Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland

Australia T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

Pakistan ODI squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Tuba Hassan

Pakistan T20 squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Tuba Hassa

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