Women’s T20 World Cup: Pakistan shock West Indies with eight-wicket win

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Pakistan stunned former champions West Indies by eight wickets to claim one of their biggest wins at the Women’s T20 World Cup in Canberra.

Chasing 125, Pakistan controlled the run-rate, with captain Bismah Maroof making a controlled 38 not out and Javeria Khan 35 as they raced to their target with 10 balls remaining.

Having opted to bat first, West Indies were reduced to 28-3 and ultimately tripped their way to 124-7, largely due to captain Stafanie Taylor’s 43.

Seamer Diana Baig excelled, taking 2-19 to rattle the Windies, before Maroof led Pakistan to a famous victory.

Pakistan, who have never gone beyond the group stages at the tournament, face England next on Friday, while West Indies do not play again until Sunday.

In truth, they were the better team throughout the match, with fifth-ranked West Indies putting in a lacklustre showing with bat and ball.

The win also opens up England’s group – and means that their match against Pakistan becomes even more important.

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Frustration and tension for Windies

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The Windies’ batters struggled for fluency, losing Hayley Matthews lbw to the first ball of the innings, before Lee-Ann Kirby and Deandra Dottin fell to needlessly high-risk shots.

Taylor grew visibly frustrated as the innings progressed, the Windies captain unable to pierce the field, and 22 of the 47 balls she faced were dots.

A middle-over resurgence looked as though it would help West Indies over the 150 mark but they once again faded, losing four wickets for 32 runs.

Tension grew as Pakistan chipped away at their total – one Pakistan player could not watch as Muneeba Ali was dropped on 21 at short fine leg – and West Indies were made to pay for some lacklustre fielding.

Muneeba was caught at extra cover with 48 from 49 balls still needed to win, yet Pakistan never looked hurried.

Nida Dar – known as ‘Lady Boom Boom’ because of her similarities to compatriot fellow big-hitter Shahid Afridi – hit out and benefited from a simple drop at deep mid-wicket to take Pakistan within five runs of victory.

Maroof raised her arms as she hit the winning boundary, while some West Indian players dropped to their haunches, knowing they had been thoroughly outplayed.

‘The batters need to be accountable and take responsibility’

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof: “It was a great win. We picked up wickets at crucial times to restrict them. We put them under pressure – our aim was to restrict them under 135 and then our openers batted really well.

“We are smart cricketers and need to stick to our strengths. Nida Dar came in, we just had to rotate the strike and finish the game for us. It was a very important win, we need the momentum.”

West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor: “When you look at the total and the type of batters we have, we should be scoring over 150. So far we haven’t been doing that.

“The batters need to be accountable and take responsibility. We spoke about how hard we want to go in the first six overs but it was hard to build partnerships and we kept losing wickets.

“The bowling has been terrific. Not to take anything away from Pakistan, they batted fantastically well. But as batters we need to come out and show our prowess.”

Ex-Australia batter Alex Blackwell on BBC Test Match Special: “A terrific effort from Pakistan, lovely to see that celebration from the captain. She was busy at the crease and controlled the innings.”

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