Women’s World Cup: Looking at the positives despite losing to Australia, says Bismah

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Pakistan cricket team skipper Bismah Maroof has said that she is looking as the positives despite her side losing by a big margin to Australia in the second match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here.

An unbeaten 72 from Australian Alyssa Healy and incisive bowling from Alana King saw the six-time tournament champions defeat Pakistan by seven wickets with 92 balls remaining, despite Bismah scoring an unbeaten 78 off 122 balls.

The loss notwithstanding, Bismah made her country’s second-highest score at the World Cup and celebrated her first half-century since returning from maternity leave in front of her six-month-old baby Fatima on International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

“I think when batting we gave away too many wickets early on. But the partnership with Aliya (Riaz), we wanted to take it deep and I think we got a decent total after the start we had. I think the way myself and Aliya batted that was positive. We talked in the meeting about someone in the top order needs to go and bat deep and that was a positive sign from us,” said Bismah about the partnership.

Aliya too scored a patient 53, though she consumed 109 balls for her half century.

“After the comeback (from maternity leave), it was very important for me to perform and it was very special for me as my mother and daughter were here, so I wanted to make it count,” added Bismah.

On International Women’s Day, Bismah showed it is possible to lead the side and flourish on the cricket field after having a baby. In between her hectic cricket schedule, she is sometimes just a mum to her six-month-old daughter Fatima who has joined Bismah in New Zealand for the World Cup and is stealing the show in the process.

Fatima was on hand to congratulate her mum as Bismah made 78 not out in Pakistan’s loss to Australia.

For Bismah, it marked her first half-century since having her daughter and broke plenty of records in its own right.

It was the second-highest individual score for Pakistan at a World Cup and contributed to a 99-run stand for the fifth wicket alongside Aliya Riaz.

That was also Pakistan’s fifth 50-run stand against Australia and it speaks about Bismah’s commitment to the team.

On Tuesday, the World Cup here got to witness one of the best moments so far. Having raised her bat to acknowledge the applause of the crowd and her teammates on reaching her half-century, Bismah took off her helmet, turned to the pavilion and cradled her arms as if rocking a baby. Then, the camera cut to the balcony as Fatima was held by her grandmother who waved one of the baby’s tiny hands back.

It reflects a feeling lots of parents go through, that nothing else matters but your child and while Bismah has made a return to the day job, her success is all for her daughter, reports ICC.

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