KARACHI, Dec 28 (AFP): Pakistan's women cricketers fought hard against Sri Lanka but lost by a narrow 14-run margin in the opening match of the Asia Cup at the National stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing 179 to win, Pakistan needed 15 off the last over but lost their last wicket off the second ball. Sri Lanka now meet India on Thursday. All teams will play each other twice with the top two teams going through to the final on January 4.
Sri Lanka, who lost to India in the two-team first Asia Cup in 2003, recovered from 120-6 to post a healthy 178-9 in their allotted 50 overs with Dumila Dedunu top-scoring with 52.
Dedunu hit seven boundaries but it was the seventh wicket stand of 39 between Inoka Galagedera (25) and Praba Udawatte (22 not out) that helped Sri Lanka set a challenging target. The Pakistani bowlers also conceded 24 wides.
Pakistani leg-spinner Urooj Fatima chipped in with 3-40.
Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Suwini de Alwis (4-24) and captain Shsikala Siriwardene (3-32) then had Pakistan tottering on 88-6, but a seventh wicket stand of 66 nearly won the match for the home team.
Kanta Jalil (36) and Sana Mir (23) took the fight to the Sri Lankan bowlers before their stand was broken by Suwini.
Only families were allowed to watch the match, while players of both teams followed a strict Islamic dress code of baggy trousers and long shirts unlike skirts employed by some teams at international level.