West Indies, Pakistan aim to finish series on a high

West Indies players celebrate the fall of Javeria Khan's wicket. © Cricket West Indies

The fourth ODI was almost a perfect kind of match for Pakistan; the bowlers pulled things back when West Indies were in control. Spinners were economical and one of them returned a rich haul. The seamers played a huge role in keeping things in check and shared five wickets between them. And then the run-chase was a steady one with handy contributions from all the batters.

But West Indies, deep down, would know they should have won it. Kyshona Knight and Stafanie Taylor were cruising along and had stitched a 142-run partnership for the third wicket. They were well set with about eleven overs to go to the close. Taylor, who had already hit a ton in the first ODI, was primed to cross fifty again at the least. Knight was set to convert her maiden fifty-plus score in international cricket into triple digits.

The hosts, though, lost eight wickets for 39 to be bowled out for a mere 210. Having sealed the five-ODI series already, the fifth ODI on Sunday (July 18) should give West Indies a scope to experiment as well as continue their dominance. They had handed out a debut to wicketkeeper-batter Rashada Williams in the fourth game.

In what are good signs for the hosts, Hayley Matthews has also been among the runs. She missed her half century by a run in the second ODI before hitting a ton and leading the chase for West Indies in the third match.

For Pakistan, though, things aren’t really falling into place, even as the A team registered a clean sweep against West Indies. Their batters have let them down in every game and that they could chase down a score in the previous match should inspire confidence. Captain Javeria Khan is yet to find her mojo and has a best score of 12 across formats on this tour. The tourists would dearly want her to get amongst runs, especially in the absence of the regular skipper Bismah Maroof.

ALSO READ: Fast bowlers pool, dot-ball conversion areas to work on ahead of World Cup, says Ramesh Powar

Aliya Riaz has been one of Pakistan’s consistent middle order batters for some time now. In the company of Nida Dar, she has helped the team cross the line or get to a good total quite a few times. She played a knock of 63 not out in the A game on Friday and should ideally walk in to the XI for Pakistan on Sunday.

16-year-old Ayesha Naseem has had a quiet couple of ODIs to start her career and it will be interesting to see if she signs the tour off in some style. In larger context, Pakistan would want to leave the Caribbean shores with some surety about their team composition in the fifty-over format ahead of the World Cup qualifier in December. Will they sign off with a win?

Squads

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams

Pakistan: Javeria Khan (c), Rameen Shamim, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Aliya Riaz, Aiman Anwar, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Jaweria Rauf, Kainat Imtiaz, Kaynat Hafeez, Maham Tariq, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui (wk), Nahida Khan, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Saba Nazir, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah