Pakistan women aim for gold in 19th Asian Games

LAHORE -The national women’s side will be eyeing their third gold medal as they kick off their Asian Games campaign today (Thursday) against In­donesia at Zhejiang Univer­sity of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China at 1400 local time. 

This will be the quarter­final of the event after hav­ing directly qualified by the virtue of being one of the top four ICC ranked sides in the continent. The tourna­ment is being played in the T20 format and the Nida Dar-captained team enter the event with momentum on their side after having se­cured a historic whitewash against South Africa at home earlier in the month. 

During the series played at the National Bank Stadium, right-handed opening bat­ter Sidra Amin top-scored for the hosts in the T20I se­ries, scoring 133 runs from three matches at an aver­age of 44.33. In the bowl­ing charts, left-arm spinner Nashra Sundhu topped the table alongside another left-armer Sadia Iqbal with four wickets apiece. The national side has previously won gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 iterations of the event. 

Pakistan captain Nida Dar said: “The team is in high spirits and every player is looking forward to the Asian Games. After practicing for two days here in Hangzhou, we are all set to play Indo­nesia tomorrow. The Asian Games hold a special place in our hearts, and we are determined to bring home another gold medal. 

“That we enter this tour­nament after having beaten South Africa comprehen­sively in the T20I series will certainly help us and we look forward on carrying that mo­mentum. The players are up for showcasing their skills on the field again,” she added. The semifinals will be played on 24 September, while the final will take place on 25 September. The match for bronze medal will also take place on the day of the final at 0900 local time. 

PAKISTAN SQUAD: Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anoosha Nasir, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sundhu, Nataliya Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah and Umm-e-Hani. 

PLAYER SUPPORT STAFF: Ayesha Ashhar (team man­ager), Mauhtashim Rashid (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach), Taufiq Umar (batting coach) and Ri­fat Gill (physiotherapist)