Windies, Pakistan eager to brush cobwebs away

The Women’s World Cup hasn’t gone to plan for either team, but they have an opportunity to set some things right when they face off
West Indies women.

West Indies v Pakistan, Leicester
Tuesday July 11 at 10:30am BST

Things have not gone as per script for both the West Indies and Pakistan at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. They have both played brilliant cricket in patches, but have failed to sustain it for a longer period. As a result, they stand very low on the points table.

Windies opened its account with a 47-run win over Sri Lanka, but Pakistan, with five consecutive losses, is out of the tournament. Things had looked promising for Pakistan when it chased 247 against the Windies in a warm-up game at Leicester. The result spiked interest among fans, but it was to be a false dawn. The loss of Bismah Maroof to an injury has not helped the team's cause, and a lack of consistency from all three departments has proved costly.

Pakistan has to put past performances aside and produce its best cricket of the tournament on Tuesday because this is the team's best chance to get on the scoreboard.

Pakistan's spinners have been disciplined.
Pakistan's spinners have been disciplined.

Pakistan’s spinners are disciplined, but they need runs on the board and for that the onus is on the opening pair of Nahida Khan and Ayesha Zafar.

The Windies on the other hand would have drawn a lot of confidence from the way the batsmen handled the Sri Lankan spinners. Despite losing four wickets without much on the board, the team posted 229 for 9 thanks to Merissa Aguilleira’s unbeaten 46 from No. 6 and some sensible hitting from the others who batted around her. After that, Anisa Mohammed claimed Chamari Athapaththu, Dilani Manodara and Shashikala Siriwardene to derail Sri Lanka’s chase.

The West Indies though would want a greater contribution from its top-order, especially from Haley Mathews and Stafanie Taylor. Both of them have shown glimpses of their abilities with some wonderful strokes through the tournament, but have not gone on to make it count. Taylor, who remains the No. 1 all-rounder in One-Day Internationals, has not scored a century since October 2013.

Her best score since then is an unbeaten 98 against Pakistan at home in October 2015. It was a series where Pakistan won the first game, but then lost three as the Windies prevailed 3-1.

What they said:

Stafanie Taylor: “We know how important these games are. We definitely want to win and go home on a high. Pakistan have not won a game, so it is not going to be easy for us. Pakistan are going to come with their spinners. We saw that a bit of that (against Sri Lanka). We should counter their bowlers well. Pakistan has always been a fighting team. All the teams think that West Indies is the team you want to beat, so Pakistan is no different.”

“We have played really good cricket in bits and pieces. It’s important we bring it into one match, and hopefully we can do it tomorrow,
“We have played really good cricket in bits and pieces. It’s important we bring it into one match, and hopefully we can do it tomorrow," says Sana Mir.

Sana Mir: “We have played really good cricket in bits and pieces. It’s important we bring it into one match, and hopefully we can do it tomorrow. I really believe in this team. Sometimes in tournaments like these when you slip off or your form goes bad you take a couple of matches to come back. The batters are looking good in the nets today, hopefully they can deliver tomorrow. It is a new day. Their (Windies) and our team have changed since that (warm-up) game. We are playing on a new wicket tomorrow, and weather in England plays different role. We can’t take things for granted. We have to be smart about it and use the conditions to our advantage.”

Player in focus:

West Indies
Deandra Dottin: 
A lot has been written about how she is the pioneer of power hitting in women’s cricket, but she has not really produced any match-winning knocks for a long time. She has just four half-centuries in her last 30 innings, and has been dismissed below 20 on 13 occasions. The Windies would want her to take more responsibility and bat for longer to show the youngsters how it is done. She found her touch against Sri Lanka with seven powerful fours, but could not build on it.

Pakistan

Ayesha Zafar: Pakistan’s opener was one of the finds during their tour of New Zealand where she scored two half-centuries. That assured her of a place in the team for the Qualifier, and she did well. She started with an unbeaten 56 against England in the second game in the World Cup, but has not taken off since then. A good show against on Tuesday will not only allow Pakistan a chance for a World Cup win, but will also go a long way in setting herself up for a consistent run with the team.

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (capt), Merissa Aguilleira (wk), Reniece Boyce, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Felicia Walters, Subrina Munroe, Kycia Knight.

Pakistan: Sana Mir (capt), Ayesha Zafar, Nahida Khan, Marina Iqbal, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Kainat Imtiaz, Asmavia Iqbal, Diana Baig, Waheeda Akhtar, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima, Sadia Yousuf.

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