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Women's World Cup: Bismah Maroof's unbeaten 78 guides Pakistan to fighting 190/6 vs Australia

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Mount Maunganui (New Zealand), March 8 (IANS) Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof (78 not out) and middle-order batter Aliya Riaz (53) produced their highest partnership at an ICC Women’s World Cup as they posted a respectable 190/6 in the allotted 50 overs in the ICC Women’s World Cup match against formidable Australia at the Bay Oval here on Tuesday.

Skipper Maroof, who scored her unbeaten 78 off 122 deliveries, and Aliya, who took 109 balls for her 53, paced Pakistan with a 99-run stand for the fifth wicket to help their side put up a competitive score after the thrashing they got from India in the opening match.

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Maroof was, in particular, impressive, hitting eight boundaries during her stay as she ensured Australia would have to score at almost four runs per over to remain unbeaten at the tournament.

Experienced seamers Megan Schutt (1/43) and Ellyse Perry (1/27) picked up a wicket apiece during their opening spell and spinners Alana King (2/24) and Amanda-Jade Wellington (1/25) got in on the act to reduce Pakistan to 44/4 after 13 overs.

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While Maroof and Riaz didn’t score quickly to begin with, they played with extreme caution and cleverly moved the field around to put together a memorable stand.

Nicola Carey trapped Riaz in the 45th over to end the valuable partnership, but there was no stopping Maroof as she batted through right until the end to make sure Australia had something to chase.

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Australia made two changes to the side that defeated England on Saturday, with Carey and Wellington included in the playing XI at the expense of Tahlia McGrath (heel) and Darcie Brown.

For Pakistan, Javeria Khan was out injured, with Nahida Khan taking her spot.

Brief scores: Pakistan Women 190/6 in 50 overs (Bismah Maroof 78, Aliya Riaz 53; Alana King 2/24) vs Australia Women.

Australia XI: Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Megan Schutt.

Pakistan XI: Sidra Amin, Bismah Maroof (c), Nahida Khan, Omaima Sohail, Nida Dar, Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Sidra Nawaz, Diana Baig, Nashra Sundhu, Anam Amin.

–IANS

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