South Africa, Pakistan win warm-up matches ahead of ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers 2017

The Momentum Proteas women hope to qualify for the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup in the UK.

The Momentum Proteas women hope to qualify for the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup in the UK.

South Africa and Pakistan tuned up for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 with victories in their warm-up matches in Colombo on Sunday.

Captain Dane van Niekerk led South Africa to a resounding six-wicket win over India at the P. Sara Stadium, grabbing four for 20 with her leg-spin bowling and helped dismiss India for 155 in 48.3 overs.

The target was attained in 34.5 overs with Marizanne Kapp (45 not out) and Trisha Chetty (38) showing fine form for South Africa, which is the favourite from Group B in the upcoming 10-team tournament that runs run from 7-21 February. Pakistan too is in Group B, with Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea the others teams in the group.

India, which is the favourite from Group A that also consists of Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand, did not have a good outing as captain Mithali Raj was the highest scorer with 26 in the face of sustained pressure from the South Africa bowlers backed by some fine fielding.

Captain van Niekerk was delighted at the victory and felt her team was already adjusting well to the conditions.

“India is a high-quality side and to beat it so comprehensively gives us a lot of satisfaction. The pitch here was helping the ball turn and I felt our team did very well to adapt to the conditions,” she said.

At the MCA Stadium, upcoming batter Ayesha Zafar top-scored for Pakistan with 55 as the team garnered 204-7 with 10 balls to spare after medium-pace bowler Maham Tariq had grabbed 3-46 to help bowl out host Sri Lanka for 201.

In another match, Bangladesh scored a 39-run win in its warm-up match despite a fine all-round performance of 39 and three for 60 from Ireland all-rounder Kim Garth, who is back in the national side after playing in the Women’s Big Bash League for champion team Sydney Sixers.

Zimbabwe was a surprisingly easy winner over Scotland as it scored 197-9 with Pellagia Mujaji top-scoring with 39. The team then bowled out Scotland for 102 in 33 overs.

Thailand too scored a big win as it dismissed Papua New Guinea for 74 in only 23 overs with leg-spinner Suleeporn Laomi grabbing three for six. Thailand got to the score in only 15.3 overs as Natthakan Chantham (31) and Sirintra Saengsakaorat (28 not out) saw the team through.

The 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 offers the top four teams a place in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in England and Wales from 24 June to 23 July as well as the next ICC Women’s Championship. The teams that make the Super Six stage of the tournament will also be assured of ODI status for the next four-year cycle.

Scores in brief:
South Africa beat India by six wickets
India 155 all out in 48.3 overs (Mithali Raj 26, Dane van Niekerk 4-20, Shabnam Ismail 2-24, Marizanne Kapp 2-6).
South Africa 158-4 in 34.5 overs (Marizanne Kapp 45 not out, Trisha Chetty 38).

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets
Sri Lanka 201 all out in 49.4 overs (Dilani Manodara 54, Eshani Lokusuriya 36, Sripali Weerakkody 35, Maham Tariq 3-46).
Pakistan 204-7 in 48.2 overs (Ayesha Zafar 55, Javeria Khan 31, Nain Abidi 31, Chamara Athapaththu 3-50).

Bangladesh beat Ireland by 39 runs
Bangladesh 235-8 in 50 overs (Nigar Sultana 51, Sarmin Sultana 47, Salma Khatun 38, Kim Garth 3-60, Ciara Metcalfe 2-31).
Ireland 196-9 in 50 overs (Meg Kendal 54, Kim Garth 39, Khadiza-Tul Kubra 4-36, Jahanara Alam 2-27).

Zimbabwe beat Scotland by 95 runs
Zimbabwe 197-9 in 50 overs (Pellagia Mujaji 39, Loreen Tshuma 32, Kirstie Gordon 5-23, Abtaha Maqsood 2-42).
Scotland 102 all out in 33 overs (Rachel Scholes 30, Tasmeen Granger 2-23, Anesu Mushangwe 2-2).

Thailand beat Papua New Guinea by nine wickets
Papua New Guinea 74 all out in 50 overs (Tanya Ruma 18, Suleeporn Laomi 3-6).
Thailand 75-1 in 15.3 overs (Natthakan Chantham 31).