Sidra Ameen celebrating. ©PCB
Posiview-InPost

In the decider between Pakistan and West Indies, the former emerged victorious, defeating the latter by four wickets and with 16 balls to spare.

Having won the toss, the Windies elected to bat first. However, the momentum shifted in Pakistan’s favour soon afterwards, with the hosts dismissing Windies opener Kycia Knight for a duck. They then neutralized the threat of Deandra Dottin, who looked to be in sublime touch. She smashed her way to 28 off 19, hitting two boundaries and as many sixes during her stay at the crease, before being run out by Nida Dar. Stafanie Taylor continued her good form of the series, scoring a patient half-century that consisted of only four boundaries. She notched up 52 runs off 95 deliveries in a 52-run stand between her and Shemaine Campbelle (28). The partnership was broken by some good work behind the stumps by Sidra Nawaz, off the bowling of Nashra Sandhu. Wickets fell in quick succession after that, with the Windies losing their remaining seven for 65 runs. They were bowled out for 159, the only other notable contribution coming from Afy Fletcher, who finished the innings on an unbeaten 21.

Diana Baig and Sandhu did the bulk of the damage to the Windies line-up, both claiming three scalps each. Sana Mir, Kainat Imtiaz and Aliya Riaz also chipped in with a wicket apiece.

In their reply, Pakistan got off to a steady start with a 32-run opening partnership. Shakira Selman then broke through in the ninth over, bowling a wicket maiden to send Nahida Khan back. Javeria Khan (24) then joined Sidra Ameen at the crease, before hers’ and skipper Bismah Maroof’s wickets fell in quick succession, courtesy of Taylor. Ameen brought up her second half-century of the series, but departed soon afterwards with only 32 runs remaining. From there, the chase slowed down as Nida Dar followed just three balls later. This brought two new batters at the crease and built pressure on a Pakistani side that is notorious for its collapses. Aliya Riaz though, relieved that pressure by sneaking a boundary off the first delivery she faced. However, she added only one more run to the total, having to walk back to the dugout after playing a loose shot to be caught and bowled by Connell.

The Windies bowlers then capitalised on the pressure they had created, not giving anything away, forcing their opponents to play desperate shots. The key to Pakistan chasing the total successfully laid in the hands of Mir and Kainat Imtiaz. Just as the two were starting to find their groove, Mir was dropped in on the slips by Taylor. That drop proved costly as the two then saw their side home in the 48th over, Mir scoring the winning runs in style, with a boundary. Pakistan won by four wickets, and secured the series victory.

The Windies bowlers did well to take their defence of a modest total right to the end. Selman and Taylor both took two wickets each, while Connell and Dottin claimed a scalp apiece.

Sidra Ameen bagged back-to-back Player of the Match awards, for her performance with the bat, also securing the Player of the Series one, as she became just the second Pakistan woman to score two 50-plus scores in a three-match ODI series.

With their first ever series win over the Windies, Pakistan jump to number four on the ICC Women’s Championship points table, with 12 points. The Windies trail them by one point, at number five.