Bismah, Diana power Pakistan to big win in ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener
CANBERRA – Pakistan claimed the scalp of West Indies as they outplayed the 2016 winners and began their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign with an eight-wicket victory in Canberra on Tuesday.
Sharp new-ball bowling from Diana Baig induced struggle in the Windies top order and only when Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle were at the crease did they look fluent. They ended up posting 124/7.
Pakistan openers Javeria Khan and Muneeba Ali controlled the chase expertly and put on 58, before captain Bismah Maroof’s unbeaten 38 steered her side to a seventh win at the Women’s T20 World Cup.
The Windies top order faltered and found themselves three wickets down within seven overs for the second game in succession. Hayley Matthews, star of the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup final, fell for a diamond duck as Diana got the game’s first ball to move in the air and rap the opener on the pads.
Lee-Ann Kirby’s stand-and-deliver approach yielded three quick boundaries as she lofted Aiman Anwar for four over mid-off and then cover in the fourth over. But she perished on the first ball of the fifth, as she skewed a catch to Muneeba Ali at point, departing for 16.
Deandrea Dottin’s troubled stay at the crease ended when she tried to drag Nida Dar from outside off-stump over long-on and could only pick out Iram Javed, departing for 1 from 10 balls.
Experienced duo Taylor and Campbelle steadied the ship. Campbelle – who brought up a century of T20I appearances against Thailand – missed an attempted reverse sweep off Anam Amin and while given not out on-field, Bismah’s referral adjudged her lbw for 43.
All-rounder Chinelle Henry couldn’t settle and fell on her fourth ball as Anam grassed a return catch, but she departed when trapped lbw for four playing Aiman Anwar across the line. Taylor put her foot down in the 18th over, carting Aiman’s low full toss over mid-wicket and just clearing the long-on boundary off Dar before picking out Diana on the cow corner fence for 43 from 47 balls.
Pakistan’s opening pair were cautious at the start of their reply, with thick edges wide of the slip cordon yielding three boundaries inside the first four overs as they reached 28. Henry’s medium pace caused few problems as Javeria cut and then pulled her to the rope and Muneeba got in on the act with a firm drive as the over went for 14 runs.
Taylor turned to spin after the Powerplay but Javeria was well set, picking boundaries off Matthews and then twice from Afy Fletcher. It took the Windies skipper herself to remove Javeria, who misjudged the length of a straight one and departed lbw for a well-made 35.
Muneeba, whose opening partnership of 58 with Javeria was Pakistan’s highest first-wicket stand at the tournament, failed to pick Fletcher’s googly on 25 and could only chip to Anisa Mohammed at midwicket.
Bismah took 24 balls to find her first boundary but continued to use her sweep well to spin and scored heavily behind square, Nida Dar offering composed support with mistakes from Taylor and Nation symptomatic of a disappointing Windies fielding display.
Pakistan were untroubled in the closing stages, Bismah hitting the winning boundary as her partnership of 50 with Bismah paved the way for a memorable win. –ICC