West Indies Women kept their slender semi-final hopes alive with a nail-biting, three-run win over Pakistan Women at Boland Park, yesterday, that went down to the last ball.
Bidding to build on their win over Ireland, Windies women opted to bat and posted a below-par 116-6 but skipper Hayley Matthews took key Pakistan wickets early and late in the innings to inspire her side to a dramatic victory.
Matthews and Rashada Williams flayed 15 from the bowling of Aiman Answer in the fourth over but navigated the power play in cagey fashion.
Matthews perished late in the power play when she tried to lift Fatima Sana over the mid-wicket boundary but only found the hands of Sidra Amen.
It was a massive wicket that sparked wild celebrations but not a flurry of scalps as Shemaine Campbelle joined Williams and the pair put on 40 at a run-a-ball. The second-wicket stand came to a tame end when Williams offered a simple return catch to the outstanding Sadia Iqbal to depart for 30.
Chinelle Henry muscled two boundaries but was trapped in front by Nida Dar for 11 and Campbelle went in the next over, smartly stumped by Muneeba Ali. Nida Dar bowled Aaliyah Alleyne in the penultimate over, her 125th Twenty20 International wicket, making her the joint-leading wicket-taker in the history of the format.
Pakistan began cautiously in reply to 116-6 and it was West Indies game-changer Matthews who got the breakthrough, dismissing the dangerous Ali for five in the fourth over .
Matthews was at the heart of the action again two balls later when she took a sharp catch at mid-wicket to account for Sidra Amen, with Pakistan 15 for 2.
The experienced pairing of Bismah and Nida then embarked on a measured partnership that rarely got out of the first gear until the latter whipped Henry to the mid-wicket fence in the 13th over.