ISLAMABAD - Bismah Maroof played sensational unbeaten 83-run knock to help Lahore beat Karachi by 18 runs in the 9th Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah National Women Cricket Championship final on D/L method played here at Diamond Cricket Ground on Friday.
Put into bat first, Karachi were all out for 222 runs in 48.2 overs. Nain Abidi was the star of the Karachi innings as she top-scored with 77 off 111 balls, hitting nine fours and one six while Javeria Rauf added 34 and Javeria Khan 31 runs. Iram, Elizabeth and Hafsa took two wickets each.
Lahore started their runs chase in positive manner as they maintained a healthy run rate, being fully aware of the fact that rain could spoil their victory charge any time. Lahore were on 190-4 when thunder storm stopped the play and D/L method then declared Lahore as winners. Bismah’s unbeaten 83-run knock not only spell-bounded the spectators but also single-handedly steered Lahore to impressive victory. She was ably assisted by Mareena Iqbal (41) and Iram (23*). Maham Tariq took 2-27. Ambassador of Argentina Rodolfo J Martin-Sairavia, Senator Chaudhry Aitezaz Ahsan, PCB Interim Committee member Shakil Sheikh, Women Wing chairperson Bushra Aitezaz, Lahore regions’ representative Nosheen Haneef along with other dignitaries and guests especially from Lahore were also present on the occasion. Lahore was awarded winning trophy and a cash prize of Rs 100,000 while Karachi Region received runners-up trophy and a cash prize of Rs 50,000. Best batswoman Javeria Khan (Karachi), best bowler Sumaiya Siddiqui (Hyderabad), best wicketkeeper Huma Shafiq (Islamabad) and best fielder Sidra Amin (Lahore) received Rs 10,000 each while player of the match Bismah Maroof (Lahore) got Rs 2000.
It was very disappointing to watch such a meager amount was given to female players, who represent country in international cricket. Earlier, PCB has awarded a whopping Rs 250,000 to the winners of U-16 team and Rs 150,000 to the losing finalists, but females were given a real rough treatment as U-16 players got Rs 20,000 each for different categories while the player of the match was given only Rs 2000, which itself shows how much importance the PCB gives to women cricket.
When this scribe contacted PCB officials in this regard, they promised to provide justice to the women cricketers and also take this issue with the PCB top brass to raise their prize money.