CANBERRA: Pakistan opener Javeria Khan plays a shot as West Indies wicket-keeper Shemaine Campbelle looks on during their ICC Twenty20 World Cup match at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday.—AFP
CANBERRA: Pakistan opener Javeria Khan plays a shot as West Indies wicket-keeper Shemaine Campbelle looks on during their ICC Twenty20 World Cup match at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday.—AFP

CANBERRA: Pakistan’s women launched their campaign in the ICC T20 World Cup with a magnificent eight-wicket win over West Indies in a group ‘B’ match at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.

Pakistan comfortably completed the 125-run chase for the loss of only two wickets in 18.2 overs against the West Indies, the champions of the 2016 ICC World T20 staged in India. Openers Muneeba Ali and Javeria Khan provided perfect start to the chase with a 58-run partnership in 7.2 overs.

Javeria, later adjudged player-of-the-match, executed some delightful shots during her 35-run innings that came off 28 balls and included six fours, before the right-handed batter was dismissed by West Indies’ captain Stafanie Taylor.

Muneeba was dismissed for 25; her 26-ball innings included three fours. After Muneeba’s dismissal at 77-2 in 11.5 overs, Nida Dar joined captain Bismah Maroof in the middle.

The two carried Pakistan home with an unbroken 50-run stand in only 39 balls. Seasoned Bismah struck an unbeaten 38 of 37 with the aid of four fours. Nida gave her captain solid support at the other end as she also returned undefeated on a 20-ball 18.

Taylor and Afy Fletcher took a wicket apiece for the West Indies.

Earlier, after electing to bat first, West Indies were rocked on the very first ball of the innings as opener Hayley Matthews was trapped leg-before off pacer Diana Baig. Diana then dismissed the other opener Lee-Ann Kirby (16) to reduce West Indies to 25 for two in 4.1 overs.

Nida then accounted for star West Indies batter Deandra Dottin (1) with her off-spin to leave the West Indies tottering at 28-3 in 6.2 overs. At this stage, the West Indies were rescued by a 60-ball 63-run partnership between Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle.

Both scored 43 runs each, Taylor faced 47 balls and struck two fours and two sixes while Campbelle’s 36-ball effort also included two fours and as many sixes.

Aiman Anwer followed up the good work done earlier by Diana and Nida by taking two wickets to restrict West Indies to a modest total.

Diana, Nida and Aimen Anwar took two wickets apiece while Anam Amin took one wicket for 19 runs in her four overs.

Speaking after the match, Bismah said she lauded her players’ show.

“We picked up wickets at crucial times when we needed and put them under pressure, and then how our openers played, credit to them.”It couldn’t have started better with Amy Jones stumped off the second ball of the day, and when Danielle Wyatt went without scoring the three-time finalists England were reeling at seven for two.

“We really wanted this win to get the momentum going into this World Cup,” said Bismah. “I’m really proud of this bunch and how we played today.

Pakistan now play England in their second group ‘B’ match on Friday at the same venue.

Meanwhile in another one-sided group ‘B’ match played on Wednesday at the same venue, England crushed minnows Thailand by 98 runs.

England skipper Heather Knight smashed the first century of the Twenty20 World Cup as England emphatically got their campaign at the mega event back on track.

The 2009 champions had looked vulnerable as they crashed to a six-wicket defeat against South Africa in their opening group ‘B’ game on Sunday, following a shock 10-wicket hammering by Sri Lanka in their final warm-up last week.

With only the top two from each of the two five-team groups qualifying for the knockout phase, defeat in Canberra would have left their tournament in tatters.

But Knight hit an unbeaten 108 in a tournament-best 169-run partnership with Natalie Sciver (not out 59) to secure the vital win. England’s 176 for two was also the highest score by any team so far.

But Knight and Sciver steadied the ship and set about building a big total.

Knight brought up her maiden T20 century off 63 balls, with 13 fours and three big sixes, while Sciver smacked her second successive half-century as the Thai bowlers took a pounding.

Thailand lost opener Nattaya Boochatham in the first over and despite a breezy 32 from Natthakan Chantam were never in the run chase as England restricted them to 78 for seven.

Scoreboard

WEST INDIES:

H.K. Matthews lbw b Diana 0

L.A.G.L. Kirby c Muneeba b Diana 16

S.R. Taylor c Diana b Nida 43

D.J.S. Dottin c Iram b Nida 1

S.A. Campbelle lbw b Anam 43

C.A. Henry lbw b Aiman 4

C.N. Nation not out 6

A.S.S. Fletcher b Aiman 6

S.S. Connell not out 1

EXTRAS (LB-2, W-2) 4

TOTAL(for seven wkts, 20 overs) 124

FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-25, 3-28, 4-91, 5-97, 6-111, 7-123

DID NOT BAT: A. Mohammed, S.C. Selman

BOWLING: Diana Baig 4-0-19-2l Anam Amin 4-0-19-1 (1w); Aiman Anwar 4-0-32-2 (1w); Nida Dar 4-0-30-2; Bismah Maroof 2-0-11-0; Aliya Riaz 2-0-11-0

PAKISTAN:

Muneeba Ali c Mohammed b Fletcher 25

Javeria Wadood lbw b Taylor 35

Bismah Maroof not out 38

Nida Dar not out 18

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-2, W-7, NB-1) 11

TOTAL (for two wkts, 18.2 overs) 127

FALL OF WKTS: 1-58, 2-77

DID NOT BAT: Umaima Sohail, Iram Javed, Aliya Riaz, Sidra Nawaz, Aiman Anwar, Diana Baig, Anam Amin

BOWLING: Connell 3-0-25-0 (1nb, 2w); Selman 3-0-16-0 (1w); Henry 1-0-14-0 (1w); Matthews 3-0-18-0; Fletcher 3-0-21-1 (1w); Taylor 3.2-0-20-1 (1w); Mohammed 2-0-9-0 (1w)

RESULT: Pakistan won by eight wickets.

UMPIRES: C.A. Polosak (Australia) and S. George (South Africa)

TV UMPIRE: C.M. Brown (New Zealand)

MATCH REFEREE: S.R. Bernard (Australia)

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Javeria Khan

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2020