Shamilia Connell, Aaliyah Alleyne shine as West Indies trump Pakistan in first T20I

Gomesh Shanmugavelayutham
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Shamilia Connell, Aaliyah Alleyne shine as West Indies trump Pakistan in first T20I

Shamilia Connell (L), Aaliyah Alleyne (R) © Getty

Clinical bowling performance from pacers Shamilia Connell and Aaliyah Alleyne helped West Indies beat Pakistan by ten runs in the first T20I on Wednesday (June 30). Although Ayeesha Naseem and Fatima Sana gave the hosts a scare with their fighting 69-run partnership, the West Indies seamers held their nerve in the end.

Defending close to seven runs an over, West Indies got off to a dream start. Hayley Matthews dropped an easy catch of Javeria Rauf off Connell, but the pacer came back strongly to finish the over with the wicket of Rauf. In the first delivery of her next over, Connel cleaned up Javeria Khan. Facing the hat-trick delivery, Nida Dar smashed her through point for a boundary and followed it up with another. However, Connell had the last laugh as Dar played one back onto the stumps. Pakistan slumped to 23 for three after three overs.

Connell bowled four overs on the trot, giving away 21 runs and taking three wickets. With Matthews and Shakera Selman bowling tight lines, Muneeba Ali succumbed to the pressure. She tried to hit Matthews over long-on and was caught by Chinelle Henry. She made nine runs from 21 deliveries. 

Aaliyah Alleyne continued from where Connell left off as the pacer bowled Riaz for a 17-ball eight. She followed it up with a brilliant yorker to remove Iram Javed. Pakistan were crumbling at 57 for six. Joined by Sana, Naseem tried to build a partnership.

Naseem, in particular, took the attack to the West Indies, hitting Alleyne over the long-on boundary. She scored 18 runs off the penultimate over by Alleyne, bringing down the equation to 21 runs from six balls. In the final over by Shakera Selman, Pakistan only managed to score ten runs. Naseem finished with an unbeaten 45 off 33 balls, and Sana scored a 21-ball 24. 

Earlier, after opting to bowl, Pakistan, too, had an eventful start to their innings. Anam Amin dropped Deandra Dottin off her bowling, a couple of close run-out chances. However, Dottin and Hayley Matthews survived the nervy start and got on with the game.

The duo hit a flurry of boundaries, particularly off the pacers - Diana Baig and Sana. They hit Sana and Baig on the raise, through the covers, and when the spinners came on, they stepped down the wicket and launched them over the long-on boundary.

The hosts reached the 50-run mark in no time, but Nashra Sandhu provided Pakistan with their first breakthrough as Hayley Matthews hits one straight to the point fielder, trying to go inside out against the left-arm spinner. She made 32 runs from 28 balls.

Dottin fell shortly after, trying to hit Nida Dar against the spin into the hands of the cover-point fielder. She scored 31 runs from 26 balls. With Dar dismissing Stafanie Taylor, West Indies were down to 97 for three after 15 overs.

Kyshona Knight, who looked proactive from her first ball, kept the innings going along with Chedean Nation. Once the former got out, Nation and Kycia Knight picked up some crucial boundaries, taking the team to a competitive total. West Indies finished with 136 for six in 20 overs. Sana came back strongly in her second spell, but Dar was the pick of the bowler, taking two wickets for 15 runs in her four overs.

West Indies 136/6 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 32(28), Nida Dar 2/15) beat Pakistan 126/6 in 20 overs (Ayeesha Naseem 45, Shamilia Connell 3/21) by ten runs. POTM: Shamilia Connell