Pakistan search for elusive World Cup win to dent West Indies’ semi-final hopes
- Match 20: West Indies Women v Pakistan Women
- Seddon Park, Auckland
- Monday 21 March, 14:00 Local Time
A semi-final place is within reach for tournament surprise-package West Indies, who would move to eight points with a victory over Pakistan, a points tally that could be enough to see them into the knockout stages.
Stafanie Taylor’s side produced stunning wins early on in the tournament to beat New Zealand and England, ripping up the World Cup script and setting up a fascinating tussle for semi-final qualification.
And the entertainment hasn’t stopped there for Taylor and her team, with the thrilling victory over Bangladesh last time out being one of the matches of the tournament so far.
But the nature of West Indies’ heavy defeats to Australia and India means they have the worst net run rate of all of the remaining qualification contenders, and could yet be denied a spot in the semis on that measure, even with a win over Pakistan.
For coach Courtney Walsh, however, it is too early to be worrying about boosting that run rate as a priority, with the Windies knowing that two further wins (with South Africa being their final fixture) would absolutely send them through, and eight points may be enough regardless of their NRR depending on results elsewhere.
“First and foremost is to try to get two wins,” Walsh said.
“If you get the two wins it doesn't come to net run rate, so the game against Pakistan is going to be crucial to try to get the points or secure the points and then see what happened after that.
“So yes, points first and foremost, but we still have to have a high net run rate. And I think we can probably leave that to the last game. Because I don’t want to start putting pressure on players now in this game, and it goes pear-shaped.
“You want to focus on trying to win this game, first and foremost, get the points, get a decent score on the board that will put you up - but the points for me in this game would be crucial. And then we see all the other games work around that. And then we can decide the approach for the last game.”
Monday’s opponents Pakistan are facing a different sort of challenge at Seddon Park, with the side bottom of the table with four losses from four games.
And a hunt for a World Cup win is the aim now for coach David Hemp and his players.
“We've had some individual performances that have been very good,” Hemp said. “Then your team results will come at some stage, the challenge for us is getting those – the team wins. But we are seeing some individuals improve their games and showing that on this stage.
“The key is we keep trying, we keep working with the players and keep instilling that belief in themselves but also the way in which they train, how they train and keep challenging the training, so that at some stage they will get over the line in match situations.
“Once they do that as a team, as a collective, then hopefully you'll see some confidence grow and they will get more wins.”
Pakistan Squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Nida Dar (vc), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sundhu, Omaima Sohail, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz
West Indies Squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada William. Travelling Reserves: Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, Jannillea Glasgow
CWC22 DREAM11 FANTASY WATCH
Captaincy Pick – Bismah Maroof
Pakistan’s captain has provided one of the most striking images of the tournament so far, and her performances on the pitch have been noteworthy too. Her 78 against Australia’s high-quality bowling showed her class, and she’ll be looking to contribute another big score against West Indies.
Must have – Hayley Matthews
The West Indies all-rounder was in outstanding form in her team’s win over New Zealand on the opening day of the tournament. Her brilliant 119 at the top of the order showed great touch, and she chipped in with ten overs and two handy wickets too. She scored decent 40s against England and India as well, and was the pick of the bowlers with 4/15 in the narrow win over Bangladesh last time out.
Nashra Sundhu - The slow left-armer is Pakistan's most reliable performer with the ball and her impressive average of just over 28 at international ODI level is testimony to this. Sundhu could be used in the middle overs to try and quell the West Indies’ run rate.
Stafanie Taylor - The West Indies allrounder is a proven match-winner on her day and is always the wicket that opposition teams want most. Taylor is just as adept with her slow off-spin and is definitely one to keep an eye on.
The picturesque Seddon Park plays host to this match, one of seven tournament fixtures held at the ground.
The grassy stadium in Hamilton will be a familiar setting to fans of international cricket, with the ground having hosted an abundance of international matches since its first ODI - New Zealand's men against India back in 1981.
All eight teams at the tournament will play each other across seven rounds in a league format.
The top four teams in the standings after the conclusion of the Group Stage will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held in the final week of March.
Pakistan’s remaining tournament fixtures:
21 March v West Indies
24 March v England
26 March v New Zealand
West Indies’ remaining tournament fixtures:
21 March v Pakistan
24 March v South Africa