KARACHI:The stage is set for an exciting finale as Sidra Amin-led Dynamites take on Omaima Sohail-led Challengers in the 45-over final of the Pakistan Cup Women's Cricket Tournament 2022-23. The final will be played at the State Bank Stadium in Karachi and will be live-streamed on Pakistan Cricket Board’s official YouTube channel.
The toss will take place at 0830 PKT, while the first ball will be bowled at 0900 PKT. Both sides met in the final of the one-day tournament before on 20 February 2018, when Dynamites overcame Challengers by 190 runs at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The victors of the final this year will pocket PKR1million along with the silverware. The losing team will end up taking PKR500,000.
The player of the match will earn PKR20,000 and the player of the tournament will get PKR50,000. Before Sunday’s final, both sides had met each other twice in the one-day phase of the tournament. In the first encounter staged on 27 May, Dynamites defeated Challengers by eight wickets, while the final-round match of the second phase on 2 June between the two sides ended with Challengers winning a thriller by seven runs.
Sidra Amin, the captain of the Dynamites, has been leading from the front with her stellar performances in the competition. She currently tops the batting charts with 231 runs from four matches, including two half-centuries. Her highest score of 95 against Blasters demonstrated her ability to anchor the innings and provide stability at the top of the order. Sidra’s form will be crucial for Dynamites as the team will be without their star player Bismah Maroof, who featured in three matches and will not be available for the final due to prior family commitments.
Meanwhile, Challengers will be relying on their skipper, Omaima Sohail, and opening batters Javeria Khan and Javeria Rauf, who have been in fine touch throughout the tournament. Javeria Rauf is second on the batting charts with 150 runs from four matches, while Javeria Khan, currently placed third on the batting charts with 133 runs, played a match-winning knock of 83 runs against Dynamites in their previous encounter. Omaima has scored 108 runs from four matches with her 75 helping her side to a five-wicket win over Blasters on Wednesday. In that match, Javeria Rauf was declared player of the match for her 82-run innings. Challengers will be hoping the senior players replicates their performances and guides the team to victory once again in the final.
Dynamites hold the upper hand in the bowling stocks. Spinners Ghulam Fatima and Nashra Sundhu have been exceptional, bagging nine and seven wickets respectively in the tournament. Their ability to pick up crucial wickets and create pressure will be vital in restricting the Challengers' batting lineup.
However, Challengers possess their own bowling threat in the form of Noreen Yaqub, who sits at the third spot on the bowling charts with six wickets. Off-spinner Noreen could pose a challenge for Dynamites' batters.
Omaima Sohail, captain of Challengers, said: “We had a thrilling victory over Dynamites in a close match earlier, but we know that the final is a different ball game altogether. We can't rely on past results alone. It's a new challenge, and we are fully prepared to handle the pressure and give our best performance.
“The final presents us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our skills and claim the trophy. We have the talent and determination within our team, and we'll look to carry forward the momentum against Dynamites in this crucial match.
“We understand that Dynamites have a strong bowling unit, particularly their spinners who have been dominant in the tournament. However, we have our own strategies in place to tackle their bowling attack. We believe in our batting lineup led by in-form opening pair of Javeria Khan and Javeria Rauf and we'll back ourselves to put up a competitive total.”
Sidra Amin, captain of Dynamites, said: “In the final, it all comes down to executing the basics and playing smart cricket. We need to stay calm, make wise decisions, and support each other as a team.
“Although we'll miss the presence of Bismah Maroof, but it's an opportunity for the other players to step up and shoulder the responsibility. We have a talented squad, and I believe in their abilities to deliver on the big stage.
“The two teams have faced each other twice in this one-day phase, and the results have been evenly split with one win apiece. It just goes to show that it's going to be a tightly contested final, and we are fully prepared for the challenge.”