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Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022: Nida Dar guides Pakistan to first win of the tournament in 13 years

Off-spinner Nida Dar took four wickets for 10 runs as previously winless Pakistan beat the West Indies by eight wickets Monday in a match shortened to 20 overs per side at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan’s battery of spin bowlers came into its own in sticky conditions at Seddon Park to deal a blow to the West Indies’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

The West Indies managed only 89-7 from their 20 overs and Pakistan surpassed that total with seven balls to spare, led by opener Muneeba Ali’s 37 from 43 balls in her first innings at the tournament.

Nida Dar's four-wicket haul helped Pakistan win their first match of 2022 World Cup. Image: ICC Media Zone

Nida Dar’s four-wicket haul helped Pakistan win their first match of 2022 World Cup. Image: ICC Media Zone

Pakistan captain Bismah Mahroof made 20 and Omaima Sohail 22 in an unbroken partnership of 33 for the team’s first win at a World Cup in 13 years.

“We wanted that one badly,” Bismah said. “We know we have been doing well but we didn’t cross the line and win one. Now we want to think ahead and move forward in our efforts.”

Torrential rain fell for much of the day and deep pools of water collected on the outfield. The rain abated about an hour after the scheduled start at 2 pm and the ground staff worked to dry the ground and to allow a 40-over match to begin by 7 p.m.

The pitch had been covered and protected from the rain but it still was altered by the conditions; it gripped and turned and batting was difficult, made harder by a damp outfield that yielded boundaries reluctantly.

The West Indies’ power-hitting game almost was neutralized by those conditions. Opener Deandra Dottin scored 27 from 35 balls with five fours before becoming Dar’s first victim. The remainder of the innings contained only five more boundaries.

Dottin hit three fours in the third over, bowled by the medium-pacer Diana Baig, and helped the West Indies to 19-0 at the end of the four-over play. But the West Indies’ momentum slowly ebbed as the Pakistan spinners bowled with accuracy, taking advantage of any turn.

The West Indies lost wickets regularly — three wickets in consecutive balls in the 16th and 17th overs — and weren’t able to keep runs flowing. They were 38-2 after 15 overs and the team 50 came up in the 13th over. After 15 overs, they were 62-4 and the last five overs saw the addition of only 27 runs.

The West Indies’ defence began promisingly when Hayley Matthews bowled a first over maiden. But from then on Pakistan were able to keep up a steady run rate with singles. There were no more maidens and Pakistan were able to take singles when batters hit to fielders inside the circle.

There were only six boundaries in the innings.

“Once I got in I realized 110 to 115 would have been a good target,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said. “Somehow we just couldn’t get to there.

“When we played Bangladesh the spinners trumped us a bit and we couldn’t rotate the strike and the same thing happened today.”

The West Indies came into the match in third place behind unbeaten Australia and South Africa. Their loss on Monday sets back their hopes of reaching the semi-finals and brings India, New Zealand and Bangladesh back into top-four contention.

Australia and South Africa meet on Tuesday.

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