The batting might not have been much promising but West Indies’ bowling attack proved things fit into the holes better than what Pakistan did as they beat the latter by 3 runs in the 16th match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2023. Hayley Matthews, the West Indian skipper, for her contribution both with the bat (20 off 21 balls) and ball (2 for 14) won the Player of the Match.
West Indies won the toss and chose to bat first inviting the Pakistan bowling attack spearheaded by Sadia Iqbal that just released a single for the opponents. After a series of singles in the second over, Hayley Matthews got her first boundary of the match in the third over. And the powerplay geared up with both Rashada Williams and Matthews standing up hitting fence-touchers in the fourth over.
After a silent fifth over, Matthews had to depart for the dugout as Fatima Sana got her out at a well-played 20 off 21 balls. It seemed a recess in some big shots after the wicket, but the new duo Shemaine Campbelle and Williams took much power to come up with two boundaries each in the ninth over.
The West Indies innings was experiencing a very decent running between the wickets and a stable partnership on the build, but Sadia Iqbal got the breakthrough for her team as she bowled and caught Williams in the thirteenth over at a valuable knock of 30 off 34 balls.
Chinelle Henry, the next down, gave a short boost to the scoreboard with two boundaries, one in the fourteenth and another in the fifteenth over before getting succumbed to Nida Dar’s magnificent piece of delivery to get her LBW. Campbelle was next in the queue of torrential wickets, getting stumped at 22 off 26 balls.
Aaliyah Alleyne, in the last moments of the innings, tried hard to put up a sustainable score but could only contribute with a boundary and five singles to depart for the pavilion on the third ball of the nineteenth over.
And the West Indies innings saw its final collapse and conclusion with Shabika Gajnabi’s stumping in the last over that was followed by Afy Fletcher’s two doubles to freeze the scoreboard at 116 for the loss of 6.
Shamilia Connell was ready with the new ball for the attack against Pakistan openers the tremendously in-form Muneeba Ali and Sidra Ameen. The duo kept it low in the first over with a single each. They were dealing only in a fine rotation of strikes having the fact in mind that they are chasing a small total.
But too much of the game being gone in the back-foot for Pakistan cost Muneeba’s wicket in the fourth over at just 5 off 11 balls followed by Ameen’s in the very next over at 8 off 15. An early attack by West Indies in the powerplay contained the Pakistan chase to a bit more back-foot summing up just 17 runs at the end of the powerplay.
And it was the turn for Bismah Maroof to break the shackles and bring the Pakistan chase on track with a powerfully sounding boundary in the eighth over and a second from her bat in the following over. After 10 overs of the chase, Pakistan stood at 40 for 2, whilst Maroof was at just 10.
Nida Dar and Maroof really ran tiresome to bring a finely crafted show of great running between the wickets which helped Dar punch the fourth ball of the thirteenth over but that was not enough for the batter in the long-seeming chase that started with a low-target look. Afy Fletcher got the breakthrough for West Indies’ defence taking Dar down at 27 off 31 balls in the following over.
Aliya Riaz tried significantly to ease the pressure off and help the already set Maroof in the chase with a timely rotation of strikes and two classic show of fours, one each in the fifteenth and seventeenth over. But Maroof met her dismissal in the middle of the tight square-off with an LBW at 26 off 33.
This long-standing feud was not even thought off for the Pakistan side against a total which initially seemed not-so-big. Pakistan needed 18 off the last over and the close-up displayed an immensely fought performance by Fatima Sana; taking out a four and single to give a strike to Riaz where she showed her ultimate excellence to hammer two back-to-back boundaries, but the match was perhaps registered in West Indies’ fate that dismissed Riaz on the fifth ball at an excellent 29 off 23 balls.
Omaima Sohail’s leg-bye single brought the end of the chase at 113 for 5; with just 3 runs to spare at the West Indian victory.
ICC T20 World Cup 2023: West Indies vs Pakistan, Match 16 Brief Score
West Indies 116/6 (Hayley Williams 30; Nida Dar 2-13) beat Pakistan 113/5 (Aliya Riaz 29*; Hayley Matthews 2-14) by 3 runs.