Bismah, Javeria star with the bat as Pakistan stun former champions West Indies
Skipper Bismah Maroof led from the front with an unbeaten 37-ball 38 and was ably supported by vice-captain Javeria Khan as Pakistan stunned 2016 champions West Indies by eight wickets in their Group B T20 World Cup encounter at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday (February 26). It was also Pakistan’s third win over the Caribbean nation in T20Is. It is also to be noted that West Indies have beaten Pakistan twice during the warm-ups earlier this month. Earlier Diana Baig gave Pakistan a rollicking start dismissing Hayley Matthews for a first-ball duck.
Pakistan were off to a great start with openers Muneeba Ali and Javeria Khan running to 58 without loss in seven overs. It was Pakistan’s first 50-run opening stand since 2015 in T20Is and second in T20 World Cups. The duo didn’t take any risks instead found occasional gaps to frustrate the Windies bowlers. The partnership was finally broken, thanks to Stafanie Taylor who had Javeria lbw for 35 in 28 balls.
At one point of time, it looked Pakistan would go away with the match needing run-a-ball in the last 10 overs but with Muneeba Ali falling for 25 off Afy Fletcher, things looked a bit tough for Pakistan. But Dar and Maroof kept their cool and composure, finding occasional boundaries to take the team home with 10 balls to spare ensuring there were no further hiccups.
Earlier, West Indies had a similar sort of start like the one they had against Thailand on Saturday (February 22) losing openers Matthews (duck), Lee-Ann Kirby (16) and Deandra Dottin within the power play to be under pressure early on.
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While Matthews was dismissed for a first-ball duck, Lee-Ann Kirby was safely taken at cover-point by Muneeba Ali – both the wickets going to Baig. Dottin, coming from a long gap, also struggled with a frustrating ten-ball one.
Skipper Stafanie Taylor spoke about getting some runs on board batting first and work on dot balls during the innings. But things went otherwise as Taylor and wicketkeeper-batter Shemaine Campbelle found it tough against Pakistan with the likes of Dar, Aman Amin, Baig putting the brakes on.The duo kept on rotating the strike with occasional ones and twos before Campbelle opened her arms hitting a four and a six in Baig’s final over to ease the pressure. However, the joy was short-lived as Campbelle was dismissed by Amin for a well-made 36-ball 43 with the help of two fours and the same number of sixes. The Taylor-Campbelle combo added 63 runs for the fourth wicket.
Taylor also hit a couple of sixes for a 47-ball 43 before being dismissed giving Dar her second wicket of the match as West Indies finished at 124 for the loss of seven wickets.
Brief scores: West Indies 124/7 in 20 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 43, Stafanie Taylor 43; Diana Baig 2/19, Aiman Anwar 2/31, Nida Dar 2/30) lost to Pakistan 127/2 in 18.2 overs (Bismah Maroof 38*, Javeria Khan 35; Stafanie Taylor 1/20) by eight wickets. PoTM: Javeria Khan