Our team has the killer instinct to beat any opponent: Sana Mir

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KOLKATA: Pakistan women’s captain Sana Mir says her team has the “killer instinct” to defeat any side in the world and Saturday’s victory over title-contender India was not entirely unexpected.

“Not at all,” Sana told this correspondent over phone from Delhi when asked if the two-run win over the hosts had caught her by surprise.

“We had actually been following India, had made preparations accordingly. We have seen their players, we know how good they are,” she said on Monday evening at the end of a three-hour practice session.

“[But] We have been playing good cricket, we have that killer instinct. On a good day, we can beat any side in the world.”

At the Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Saturday, heavy rains left Sana’s side victorious by two runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Pakistan had reached 48 for one in nine overs in a chase of 96, before Sidra Ameen’s dismissal for 26 began a dramatic slide — to 77 for six in 16 overs — when the rains struck.

Earlier, Pakistan showed discipline with the ball; five bowlers claimed a wicket each with player-of-the-match Anam Amin giving away just nine runs, Asmavia Iqbal 13 and Mir 14 in their quota of four overs each.

Group ‘B’ Scenario

It was Pakistan’s first win from two Group ‘B’ games, having lost a thriller to the West Indies by four runs in Chennai on Wednesday.

India, who are on two points from two games like Pakistan, meet England — also on two points but from one game — tomorrow.

West Indies top the group with four points from two outings while Bangladesh bring up the rear with none from three.

Sana, who says her players go to the ground with the aim to win, is eyeing a semi-final berth. “It all depends on how we play the next two games. All four [top]teams have a chance to go to the semis.”

The skipper does rue the lack of practice tours before coming into the World T20. The Indians, for instance, toured Australia but the Pakistanis had no preparatory trip to any country.

“Playing less matches is a disadvantage, every team wants preparation games,” Sana said.

However, what gives her hope is the “extraordinary efforts” made by the players during the last few months.

On Monday, the team had net practice in the morning followed by three hours of fielding drills in the afternoon. “Delhi’s weather is better than Chennai’s,” she said. Plus, Sana insisted, “we are professional cricketers.”

Sana, who had earlier professed her admiration for M.S. Dhoni’s leadership skills, said she and her team sat down to watch the India-Pakistan men’s game that was also played last Saturday.

“We do follow the men’s games,” she admitted candidly. India’s win, according to her, was due to a “bit of everything” — Virat Kohli’s batting, Dhoni’s captaincy.

“All these youngsters you see, Kohli and the others, he (Dhoni) groomed everybody, they all came up during his captaincy.”

Hopefully, years from now, fans will look back on her tenure as captain as the one who changed the face of women’s cricket in Pakistan.

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