Pakistan women’s cricket team will begin their journey at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with the opening match against the West Indies in Canberra on Wednesday.

Under the captaincy of Bismah Maroof, who will be leading the side in a world event for the first time, Pakistan is eyeing to secure a semi-final berth for the first time.

Pakistan are drawn in Group ‘B’ and after the West Indies game, the national women’s side will play England on Febuary 28, also in Canberra. The other two teams in Pakistan’s group are South Africa and Thailand with Bismah’s girls locking horns with them on March 1 and 3 respectively in Sydney.

Pakistan’s 15-member squad boasts an exciting blend of young and senior players.

Muneeba Ali is being considered as one of the most exciting prospects in the side with an extraordinary performance in the National Triangular T20 Women’s Cricket Championship earlier this year, which saw her accumulate 292 runs, including a century and three half-centuries, at an average of 58.40.

Ayesha Naseem, another hard-hitting batter, is also set to make her debut at 16, while pacer Aimen Anwar, who is also returning to the national side, is expected to take the new ball with seasoned campaigner Diana Baig.

The presence of their captain Bismah, who is the only Pakistan batter to have more than 2,000 runs, all-rounder Nida Dar and Javeria Khan, Pakistan boast the desired shorter-format experience and a strong core of the batting department.

Aliya Riaz, Diana and Aroob Shah, a 16-year-old leg-spinner, form a good bowling line-up.

Pakistan will also be pinning their hopes on Anam Amin, who has the most scalps for Pakistan since the last edition of the tournament.

She is currently ranked 13th in the ICC Rankings for T20I bowlers and is hopeful that she will break into the top 10 once again over the course of the ongoing World Cup.

“My target is to help Pakistan make history by qualifying for the semi-finals. I am very excited for this World Cup and my aim is to deliver to the best of my abilities and be among the top 10 bowlers,” she said on the eve of the match.