Durban [South Africa], January 25 (ANI): After losing the ODI series against South Africa, Pakistan batter Aliya Riaz is eyeing the Zimbabwe tour which will help the visitors prepare for ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers scheduled to be held later this year.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday announced that their women's cricket team's tour of Africa was extended after it was agreed that they will play three 50-over matches and two T20Is in Zimbabwe after their tour of South Africa.
Aliya, who gave an all-rounder performance in the second ODI for Pakistan, feels the extended tour will provide ample opportunities to get into the groove ahead of important fixtures.
"We knew the South Africa series was going to challenge us. They are a good team and the conditions here can be tough for the subcontinent teams. We are returning to cricket after a 10-month long gap," Aliya told PCB digital.
"In the two matches, we have won small battles, but it is about crossing the line where we need to improve ourselves. This is where the recently announced Zimbabwe series will come in handy as we will get more matches under our belts ahead of the all-important ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers later this year," she added.
The third and final ODI between the two teams will be played on Tuesday. Aliya said her side will be making the most of it to strengthen team combinations and get the momentum ahead of the three-match T20I series between the two sides that will be played from January 29 at the Kingsmead Cricket Stadium.
"The series is settled with South Africa as the winners but any team, any player will take 2-1 as a scoreline rather than 3-0," said Aliya.
"We are looking at the third match as another opportunity to go out and express ourselves and hopefully end the series on the winning note, which will get us the desired momentum ahead of the three T20Is," she added.
Pakistan had faced another marginal defeat on Saturday against South Africa as the hosts went 2-0 up in the three-match ODI series. (ANI)