Four-fers from Fatima Sana, Nashra Sandhu lead Pakistan to their first victory on the tour

Pakistan players celebrate a wicket. © Cricket West Indies

The mix of youth and experience came through for Pakistan to win their first match of the tour against West Indies on Thursday (July 15) at Sir Vivian Richards International Stadium at Antigua. Kyshona Knight’s maiden half-century was overshadowed by Nashra Sandhu-led collapse of the West Indies. And later, a partnership of 81 runs between Sidra Ameen and Omaima Sohail made sure Pakistan could end their victory drought.

Toss for the fourth ODI was delayed due to excessive dampness in the pitch and each side had made multiple changes. For West Indies, captain Stafanie Taylor was back in the playing eleven after being rested in the previous match. Rashada Williams became the 93rd player to represent West Indies in the ODI format. Pakistan dropped underperforming, Aliya Riaz and Ayesha Zafar along with Rameen Shamim. These three players were replaced by Ameen, Sandhu, and Kainat Imtiaz.

After opting to bowl, Pakistan seamers made the most of the moisture in the pitch. Fatima Sana stuck with her fourth ball of the match to remove the centurion from the previous encounter. Hayley Matthews was not able to read the inswinger from Sana that came after three back-to-back outswingers. Just when West Indies were starting to look comfortable, Sana came back to dismiss Deandra Dottin, who was caught at cover. Captain Khan took a sharp catch and West Indies were two for 29 in just the eighth over.

The rebuilding of the West Indies innings started with two of their most experienced players at the crease. Knight and Taylor were patient early on as they brought up the partnership of 50 runs in the 22nd over. Knight brought up her maiden half-century in the 33rd over after some nervy moments on 49. Once they were able to build the foundation, the pair batted aggressively to see West Indies go beyond 150 runs in the 38th over.

Sandhu shocked the West Indies side, by dismissing three middle-order batters, Taylor, Britney Cooper and Chedean Nation in the span of six balls. Taylor walked off the ground when she was on 49 as wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali took a sharp catch. Ali repeated her heroics a ball later to see the back of Cooper and Nation’s off-stump was dislodged in the next Sandhu over.

In the very next over Diana Baig joined the party and Knight had to trudge off to the pavilion, missing her well deserved century by 12 runs. At this moment, the West Indies had committed the harakiri by losing four wickets for just 10 runs. Sana and Sandhu combined to wind up the tail and West Indies were bowled out, for the first time during this series, on 210.

For Pakistan, Sandhu and Sana took four wickets each. Baig took an important wicket Knight and only conceded 32 runs from her 10 overs. Anam Amin could not take a wicket but, she was economical as always.

Pakistan took advantage of freebies provided by West Indies early on to reach 30 runs off just five overs. That joy was cut short when Matthews returned the favour by trapping Ali LBW in her very first over. Captain Khan had a chance to prove herself in this match but, she failed as Shakera Selman castled her with an unplayable delivery that dismantled her middle stump.

With a scoreline of two for 44 in the 10th over, Ameen partnered with Sohail to steady the ship. The pair was watchful against veteran Anisa Mohammed and Taylor. Pakistan’s slow run rate in the middle overs was one of the reasons for their lack of success against West Indies but, Sohail and Ameen were quick between the wickets and kept the scoreboard ticking throughout their partnership.

Ameen was caught behind on the leg side in the 29th over and Selman was able to break the valuable partnership of 81 runs. Sohail brought up her second half-century in 69 balls and was able to maintain the required run rate below five. Pakistan had a scary moment when Sohail and Ayesha Naseem lost their wickets in quick succession but the experience of Nida Dar saw them home in the penultimate over.

For West Indies, Selman and Matthews bagged two wickets each and Mohammed and Chinelle Henry took wicket apiece. The final match of the tour will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on July 18.

Brief Score: West Indies 210 all out in 49.4 overs (Kyshona Knight 88, Stafanie Taylor 49; Fatima Sana 4/30) lost to Pakistan 211/6 in 48.3 overs (Omaima Sohail 61, Sidra Ameen 41; Shakera Selman 2/34)