HAMILTON: Pakistan ended an 18-match losing streak at Women’s Cricket World Cups with an eight-wicket win over the West Indies in Hamilton on Monday, blowing open the race for the semi-finals.
In a rain-shortened match with innings of 20 overs, Pakistan bowled superbly — with off-spinner Nida Dar taking four wickets for 10 runs — to contain the West Indies’ potent batting line-up to 89-7 then overhauled the modest target with seven balls to spare.
Opener Muneeba Ali was the pick of the Pakistan batters with 37 from 43 balls in her first innings at the tournament. While Pakistan captain Bismah Mahroof made 20 and Omaima Sohail 22 in an unbroken partnership of 33.
It was their first win at the World Cup since the 2009 tournament in Australia, where they also beat the West Indies.
“This was desperately needed, we all wanted that win,” said Nida.
“This one goes to all the Pakistani fans who are watching and supporting us.”
Pakistan remain out of the semi-finals reckoning with one win in five matches but the shock result will boost the West Indies’ rivals in a tight race for the final four.
The West Indies can still make the semi-finals but need to beat South Africa and have results involving India and England go their way.
“It’s a do-or-die situation now and we have to come out banging,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said of her team’s match against South Africa on Thursday.
Torrential rain fell for much of the day and deep pools of water collected on the outfield. The rain abated about an hour after the scheduled start at 2.00pm and the ground staff worked to dry the ground and to allow a 40-over match to begin by 7.00pm.
The pitch had been covered and protected from the rain but it still was altered by the conditions; it gripped and turned and batting was difficult, made harder by a damp outfield that yielded boundaries reluctantly.
The West Indies power-hitting game almost was neutralised by those conditions. Opener Deandra Dottin scored 27 from 35 balls with five fours before becoming Nida’s first victim. The remainder of the innings contained only five more boundaries.
Dottin hit three fours in the third over, bowled by the medium pacer Diana Baig, and helped the West Indies to 19-0 at the end of the four-over play.
But the West Indies momentum slowly ebbed as the Pakistan spinners bowled with accuracy, taking advantage of any turn.
The West Indies lost wickets regularly — three wickets in consecutive balls in the 16th and 17th overs — and weren’t able to keep runs flowing. They were 38-2 after 15 overs and the team’s 50 came up in the 13th over. After 15 overs, they were 62-4 and the last five overs saw the addition of only 27 runs.
The West Indies’ defense began promisingly when Hayley Matthews bowled a first over maiden. But from then on Pakistan were able to keep up a steady run rate with singles. There were no more maidens and Pakistan were able to take singles when batters hit to fielders inside the circle.
There were only six boundaries in the innings.
“We wanted that one badly,” Bismah said.
“We know we have been doing well but we didn’t cross the line and win one.
“Now we want to think ahead and move forward in our efforts.”
WEST INDIES 89-7 in 20.0 overs (Dottin 27, Taylor 18; Nida 4-10); PAKISTAN 90-2 in 18.5 overs (Muneeba 37, Omaima 22; Selman 1-15).