Pakistan 139 for 6 (Javeria 74*, O'Reilly 3-19) beat Ireland 101 for 9 (Isobel Joyce 30, Shillington 27, Sandhu 2-8, Riaz 2-16, Anwer 2-25) by 38 runs
Ireland were in the contest for eight overs after losing the toss. Then, they saw it sensationally slip away. As is the case most times, a missed opportunity proved costly. Pakistan didn't look back from there, blasting 110 off their last 12 overs to finish with a competitive 139. This was 38 too many for Ireland. The win kept Pakistan just about breathing in the competition after two heavy losses to Australia and India.
The beneficiary of the missed opportunity was Javeria Khan, the Pakistan captain. On nine at the start of the ninth over after Pakistan had limped to 29 for 1, she should've been caught at long-on, but Clare Shillington was five yards inside the ropes. When she finally backpedaled, it was too late. Celeste Raack, the Australia-born legspinner, was denied a wicket in her very first over. Javeria went on to make 74 not out, the highest score by a Pakistan batsman in a women's T20I.
Ireland's chase never took off, and they were expertly tied into knots by Nashra Sandhu, the left-arm spinner. Left out for the game against India, 20-year-old returned to finish with 4-0-8-2. After managing only 36 for 2 in the Powerplay, it turned out that Ireland never quite had the muscle in the middle overs to pinch boundaries. Instead they chose to play ugly across-the-line swipes to either be bowled or lbw. Isobel Joyce's 30 added the only touch of respectability for Ireland in what was a one-sided affair.
The effort of the game clearly came from Javeria, who brought a sputtering innings to life with her industry. When long-off was wide, she hit straight. When mid-off was in, she went over the top. When there were two point fielders, she opened the bat face to carve it into the gap behind the wicket. When the bowlers drifted the ball in, got inside the line and played inside-out. If the bowlers bowled short, she walked across to sweep.
It was an exhibition of batting right out of the top drawer. She raised her half-century off 41 deliveries, and with the landmark out of the way, put her head down to bat right through the innings without compromising on her strike rate. Her three successive boundaries in the 17th over off Raack displayed her full range.
Ireland's chase never took off, but they also weren't helped by an umpiring gaffe. Gaby Lewis, the first to fall, should've survived a stumping as wicketkeeper Sidra Nawaz gathered the ball in front of the stumps - as per the rules, that's not allowed. But the decision went in favour of Pakistan to trigger the slide. In the face of an escalated asking rate, only Shillington managed to strike the ball clean and pinch runs to briefly give Pakistan a flutter, but she was gone before the Powerplay was done. Barring two double-digit scores from the top three, Ireland caved in meekly.