Bismah Maroof and team set to face Sri Lanka in the semi-finals

The first semi-final will be played between India and Thailand tomorrow morning

Bismah Maroof and team set to face Sri Lanka in the semi-finals PHOTO: PCB

Bismah Maroof and her side are geared up for their semi-final match against Sri Lanka in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup. Pakistan – who ended the table on the second spot will take on third-positioned Sri Lanka in the second semi-final. The match will be broadcast live on PTV Sports, and the first ball will be bowled at 1230 PKT.

The first semi-final will be played between India and Thailand tomorrow morning.

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Before the start of the seven-team event, the Pakistan squad underwent a 10-day camp at the Lahore Country Club, Muridke and three days of intense practice and preparations in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

In their six outings so far in the tournament, the Bismah Maroof-led side has won five matches, including a 13-run victory over arch-rivals India. Their only loss came against Thailand, where despite setting a low target, a fightback from the Pakistan bowlers ensured the match went to the final over with Thailand winning by four wickets.

For Pakistan, in their five wins in the tournament, five different players were awarded player of the match demonstrating the team effort. In the win against Malaysia, Tuba Hassan was declared the best player after claiming two wickets for 13 runs in four overs. In a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh, opening batter Sidra Amin’s unbeaten 36 runs helped her become the player of the match. The experienced Nida Dar put in a spellbinding all-round performance against India, and was named player of the match for scoring 56 not out off 37 balls with five fours and one six, and registering figures of 4-0-23-2.

Aliya Riaz smashed her maiden T20I half-century in the 71-run win over the UAE, amassing an undefeated 57 from 36 balls, which earned her player of the match award. In the last fixture before the semi-final, Omaima Sohail was the standout bowler against Sri Lanka, becoming only the second Pakistan player to pick up a five-wicket haul in Women’s T20Is and was rewarded with the player of the match prize.

On the eve of the semi-final, Bismah said: “We have been putting in the hard yards since our camp in Pakistan and also in the practice sessions here in Bangladesh. The atmosphere of the team is very good. I am optimistic that we will do very well in the semi-final tomorrow and will qualify for the final.

“All 15 players here are my match winners. The players have responded really well so far, everyone is taking responsibility, which was on display throughout the matches we have played in the tournament. The key is to take one game at a time and right now we are just focused about tomorrow’s game.”

Squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Nashra Sundhu, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk) and Tuba Hasan

Reserve players: Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

Support staff: Ayesha Ashhar (team manager), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach and interim head coach), Mauhtashim Rashid (fielding coach), Muhammad Zubair Ahmad (analyst) and Rifat Gill (physiotherapist).