Pakistan shock former champions West Indies in T20 World Cup

Dar and Mahroof celebrate the winning runs (Twitter: @T20WorldCup)
Dar and Mahroof celebrate the winning runs (Twitter: @T20WorldCup)
16:13pm, Wed 26 Feb 2020
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Pakistan have started their T20 Women's World Cup campaign in style with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the 2016 Champions West Indies.

Bismah Maroof's side took advantage of a sub-par batting performance from the Windies team, who boast some of the big names in the women's game including Stefanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews, but could only limp to 124-7 from their 20 overs.

The West Indies made the worst possible start at the Manuka Oval in Canberra as Matthews fell lbw to Diana Baig in the first ball of the day, setting the tone for a nervous innings from the team that entered the game as hot favourites.

Things continued to go downhill as they soon found themselves 28-3 despite having chosen to bat first.

Captain Taylor came to the rescue again, making 43, but even she looked nervous and visibly frustrated as she struggled to get the ball through the field, striking 22 dot balls out of the 47 she faced.

Having re-grouped, the Windies looked on course to pass the 150 mark, but a late collapse saw them lose four wickets for 32 runs and finish 124-7.

The Pakistan openers came out strongly and slowly chipped away. Muneeba Ali was offered a lifeline when she was dropped at short fine-leg on 21 and was eventually caught at extra cover with 48 from 49 still needed to win.

Pakistan's captain steered the ship magnificently alongside Nida Dar and when the big hitter holed out in the deep with five runs still needed, Maroof guided her team home arms aloft to finish on 38 not out.

Maroof was pleased with her team's performance, which is the first time they have won their opening game at the tournament. She said: "It was a great win. We picked up wickets at crucial times to restrict them. We put them under pressure - our aim was to restrict them under 135 and then our openers batted really well.

"We are smart cricketers and need to stick to our strengths. Nida Dar came in, we just had to rotate the strike and finish the game for us. It was a very important win, we need the momentum."

However, her opposite number Taylor was unimpressed with her batting line up.

She said: "The batters need to be accountable and take responsibility. We spoke about how hard we want to go in the first six overs but it was hard to build partnerships and we kept losing wickets. 

"The bowling has been terrific. Not to take anything away from Pakistan, they batted fantastically well. But as batters we need to come out and show our prowess."

The result blows the tournament wide open as England now face Pakistan on Friday in a must-win game.

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