Can I begin by thanking everybody for their comments and messages on my last blog. I read all of your words of encouragement and it was very much appreciated following the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat to India.
I promised to the people of Pakistan ahead of today’s game against Sri Lanka that we would bounce back and I don’t think anybody could have expected a better performance than the one we put in today. I said at the weekend, after our loss against India, that we didn’t play up to our potential and that we would be fine if we got things right in all three key departments – batting, bowling and fielding – and that is what we did today.
We have been waiting for years to beat Sri Lanka and it was the perfect day to win – the first time a Pakistan side had won in 19 matches against them and the first time Pakistan has won a match at the ICC Women’s World Cup. To be part of this moment of history and to captain the side makes me extremely proud. We know we have taken a vital step towards making it to the Super Six stage now, as Sri Lanka faces a difficult last match against India, so it is extremely exciting that we may get a chance to face the likes of Australia and New Zealand next week.
After registering a decent total against Sri Lanka, which could have been higher if any of the girls who got good starts had gone onto make a big score, we knew that we had to take early wickets. I got an excellent response from all of my bowlers, having made a conscious decision to hold back Asmavia Iqbal from the opening overs, and once we got some early breakthroughs I was always confident of victory.
There were a few tears coming out of my eyes at the end and it was a special moment to get this win in front of my parents. My father has really helped me with my game, while my mother is always very supportive of what I do.
To celebrate the victory tonight, some of the team are going to come out for dinner with my parents, while other players will be with their families, before we gather all together at the hotel for a celebration later on. We won’t go too crazy though as we know we have another important group match on Thursday.
We are all really looking forward to playing against England in our next match and I am excited that the game will be broadcast live on television. I hope that people at home will tune in to watch the match so that we can prove to people in Pakistan that women can play cricket.