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West Indies women
image source: collage top image from Dawn.com and bottom image from GNN (collage made from photojoiner.net)

The West Indies happen to be the last non-Asian Women’s team, to have played against Pakistan in Pakistan and that too, after nearly 15 long years.

The series that comprises three T20s is under at Karachi from January 31 and shall last till February 3.

With this series, Women’s International Cricket is going to return to Pakistan.

What a welcome site that is- isn’t it?

After the three-match T20Is, they will move to Dubai for three-match ODI series which will be part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-21).

The first ODI will be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, while the second and third matches have been assigned to the ICC Academy ground. West Indies had last come to play in Pakistan in March 2004 for an ODI series. They were the second team after the Netherlands to play in the country.

From 2011 to 2016, Pakistan faced Windies Women 9 times; where Pakistan managed to win only a single game with two of them went on a tie. On the other hand, Windies Women won the contest 6 times.

This clearly shows the Windies Women’s dominance over Pakistan in the shortest format of the game.

After having a not-so-good ICC World T20, Pakistan will surely try to give a tough fight to West Indies; where Windies Women too will try to improve their performances.

Moving on from the present, let’s check what had happened when the two teams met in the previous contests.

Last time Pakistan faced West Indies was during the ICC Women’s World T20 at Chennai on March 16 in 2016. After that, both the team have never faced with each other.

It was the third match of the T20 World Cup where Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first. Put into bat, West Indies openers got off to a flying start. But Pakistan’s slow left-arm orthodox bowlerAnam Amin handed over the first breakthrough to her team by taking the openers in the 6th over.

Sadia Yousuf then took two wickets and caused a run-out as well. Due to the brilliant spells from the Pakistan bowlers, especially from Anam Amin (4/16), Windies Women managed to put up only 103 after 20 overs.

Quite an easy total, right? Well, the surprise was still left for the second half of the game!

While chasing, Pakistan’s one of the experienced batters Javeria Khan got retired hurt in the starting. However, Sidra Ameen and Bismah Maroof added 40 runs before Ameen getting dismissed. Windies’ experienced Anisa Mohammed struck twice in the 11th over. Due to their constant bowling attack, Pakistan only managed to put up 99 after 20 overs.

And the result: Windies Women won the nail-biting game by 4 runs.

Moving on, prior to the World Cup game, both the teams had met each other in the during the Pakistan Women’s tour of West Indies and the United States of America in 2015. It was a three-match T20I series where West Indies won by a margin of 3-0.

However, all the matches were pretty low-scoring as Windies bowlers didn’t allow Pakistan batters to score much with their economical spells. In the first game, Windies women elected to field first after winning the toss. Courtesy went to the bowlers who kept their opponent under pressure and restricted them within 74.

Pakistan were not able to build a solid partnership. Aliya Riaz was the highest scorer from her side (16).

West Indies women
image source: dailytimes.com.pk

The run-chase seemed to be easy, though Windies Women lost the openers very cheaply. Dottin, who did well with the ball, scored a 39-ball 38 and guided her team to a comfortable win with 22 balls to spare.

The Second match in the series turned out to be the thrilling one where West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor became the star in their win. They chose to field first. Put into bat, Pakistan crumbled to another below-par total, after their 74 for 9 in the first game.

Five of six bowlers conceded under six runs an over where seamer Deandra Dottin led them with the figures of 3 from 20.

The top-scorer was Nain Abidi (35).

While chasing, West Indies lost Hayley Matthews very early.

Dottin joined Taylor and both added 43 runs in 9.2 overs. Taylor smashed an unbeaten 43-ball 48 before and West Indies took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The Third contest was further a nail-biting one where Pakistan gave a tough fight to their opponent. West Indies started very poorly as the experienced off-spinner Sana Mir scalped 4 for 14 and Windies Women were bundled for 88 in 19.5 overs. Only Kycia Knight scored 49 off 48 where the second highest score was mere 8.

Chasing a revised target of 78 from 17 overs in the rain-affected match, Pakistan were about to win the game when they were 57 for 3, but a sudden collapse in the batting line-up left the game into the equal score. As a result, the game went on to a super over.

Though Pakistan could only manage just 3 for 2 in the Super Over, West Indies too found it difficult to put up the winning score as they managed only 2 for 1 from the first five deliveries from Sana Mir. When two were needed to win off the last ball, Kyshona hit the final ball towards the deep mid-wicket boundary and sealed the series by 3-0.

Now, it’s time to revisit some older memories.

Shall we?

Prior to the 2015 series, both the team faced each other during West Indies Women’s tour of England at Loughborough in 2012.
In the single T20I match they played, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat. None of the batters apart from Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan could make any contribution.

Both of them were the only two to reach into double digits, scoring 36 and 37 respectively in Pakistan’s total of 98. Shemaine Campbelle scalped 3 wickets for 20 and restricted her opponent within a below-par score.

Though it looks like an easy chase nowadays in T20s, 7 years ago, it wasn’t that much easy.

Correct?

Chasing 99, the West Indies lost their opener S.King for 1.

But Kycia Knight steadied the ship along with Aguilleira, adding 58, and later, 30 with Dottin. Knight scored an unbeaten half-century off 67 balls comprising five 4s, while Dottin smashed a four and a six in her 12-ball-15.

This helped her team to win a thriller with just 1 ball to spare. Imagine the nerves then? Can we anticipate something similar this time around as well?

Well, the statistical finding shows the pure dominance of the West Indies over Pakistan in the shortest format of the game. And given how the menfolks too, take to a liking to T20s, thinking the women might also dominate isn’t exactly an unfounded theory.

But wait. Both teams are facing one another after nearly 2 years.

During this course, a few changes have taken shape on either side.

On the one hand, where the West Indies have become one of the dangerous teams in the T20s after, especially after winning the ICC World T20 in 2016; on the other, Pakistan too, are coping well with Bismah as their leader.

Furthermore, in Sana Mir and Javeria Khan, there are a quality all-rounder and batswomen respectively and should one say two noted pillars of Pakistan.

With Bismah back, the hosts have their fulcrum. Now it’s a question of whether the team can revolve around it and make hay while the sun shines.

For now, there’s hardly any overcast condition (pun-intended).

Needless to say what might happen in the future could be anything; it’s Windies women, after all, in a format they are noted for excelling at.

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