Pakistan clinched their first victory of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, beating West Indies by eight wickets in a match reduced to 20-overs-each due to morning raid, to register their first points on the board.
However, the result was a big dent in the West Indies’ hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Earlier, a brilliant performance by their spinners helped Pakistan restrict West Indies to 89/7 before the batters kept their calm to seal an eight-wicket victory in Hamilton.
Chasing a target of 90 in 20 overs, Muneeba Ali and Sidra Amin provided a solid platform for Pakistan. The latter was dismissed in the sixth over, with Afy Fletcher knocking her over for eight as she tried to up the ante.
But Muneeba, joined by skipper Bismah Maroof, would then stitch together a vital 35-run stand while keeping the required rate under control to take Pakistan closer to their first CWC22 victory.
Muneeba would get a second chance, being dropped for 35, but could not make the most of her opportunity. She would perish on the very next delivery, attempting a wild slog against Shakera Selman to be dismissed for 37.
Another short and crucial unbeaten stand of 33 runs between Maroof and Omaima Sohail though sealed the deal for Pakistan. Maroof remained unbeaten on 20 while Sohail scored 22 as celebrations erupted in the Pakistan camp with an eight-wicket victory and seven balls remaining in the bank.
In the first innings of the match, Pakistan’s spinners were in full flight as West Indies were restricted to 89/7 after 20 overs in Hamilton. Nida Dar, in particular, was mighty impressive, registering figures of 4/10 in her four overs.
It was a steady start for West Indies in the Powerplay, with Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews helping their side to 19/0. Pakistan though would strike immediately after, with Matthews attempting a big heave against Fatima Sana and holing out to the backward point for 1.
Dottin also could not convert her good start to a big score, being caught and bowled by Nida Dar for 27 off 35 deliveries. Skipper Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle tried to steady the ship for their side. However, their woes against spin would continue, with the batters looking all at sea against the tweakers. Campbelle would be outfoxed by Dar, running down the wicket but failing to get to the pitch of the delivery and Sidra Nawaz would then do the job to stump Campbelle for 7.
Chedean Nation also failed to contribute, with Omaima Sohail dismissing her for a duck. The struggles would continue as Pakistan ended up scalping an incredible team hat-trick. Dar scalped the wickets of Kycia Knight (8) and Chinelle Henry (0) in the 16th over before Stafanie Taylor was caught and bowled by Nashra Sundhu for 18 on the first ball of the next over.
These wickets at regular intervals helped Pakistan restrict their opponents to an under-par score, though Fletcher chipped in with a handy seven-ball 12* at the end.
After a lengthy delay, Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof called it right at the toss, electing to field first in a contest that was reduced to 20-overs-a-side due to incessant rains in the morning. Pakistan made two changes to their playing XI, with Muneeba and Anam Amin coming into the side. West Indies drafted in Anisa Mohammed, Kycia Knight and Shakera Selman.
Brief scores; West Indies 89/7 in 20 overs (Deandra Dottin 27, Nida Dar 10/4), Pakistan 90/2 in 18.5 overs (Muneeba Ali Siddiqui 37, Bismah Maroof 20*, Omaima Sohail 22*, Shakera Selman 16/1).