Bismah Maroof 70* gives Pakistan series-winning lead

Bismah Maroof hit a career-best 70 not out off 50 balls as Pakistan women beat Bangladesh women by 15 runs to take a 2-0 lead in their three-match T20I series in Lahore.

Maroof came in to bat at 35 for 1 in 4.4 overs, and stayed till the end to drive Pakistan to 167 for 3. Bangladesh put up a good fight, but could muster only 152 for 7 at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday.

Maroof’s 10th T20I half-century comprised nine fours and one six, and was the centrepiece of Pakistan’s innings, with Javeria Khan lending good support with a 44-ball 52 at the top of the order. The two shared a 95-run stand for the second wicket in just 11.5 overs to put Pakistan on course for a winning total.

Bangladesh’s best bowler was right-arm medium pacer Jahanara Alam, who took 2 for 27 in her four overs, accounting for Javeria and Iram Javed. The only other wicket-taker was Lata Mondal.

Bangladesh’s chase was crippled by left-arm spinner Sadia Iqbal, playing only her second T20I. Sadia took a career-best 3 for 19 in her four overs as the middle order crumbled. Sanjida Islam, batting at No.3, held the first half of the innings together with 45 off 32 balls, but lacked top-order support.

Bangladesh had begun poorly by losing a wicket in the second over. They kept losing wickets and had sunk to 93 for 6, with 75 needed off 39 balls as no batter in the top five could string together a partnership with Sanjida. The lower order then hit out to eventually bring the margin of defeat down. Fargana Hoque at No.6 made 30 off 19 balls while Alam hit two sixes and a four in her unbeaten 18 off just 5 balls.

Maroof was player of the match in the first T20I too, when Pakistan defended 126 for 7 by keeping Bangladesh to 112 for 7. The third and final T20I of the series will take place on Wednesday, and will be followed by two ODIs.

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