Pakistan in West Indies Jun/Jul 2021
Venue: Coolidge Cricket Ground
Toss: West Indies
Result: West Indies by 7 runs (D/L)
A Race to the Bottom
It’s hard to know what was worse in this second of three T20 Internationals between West Indies and Pakistan, the five dropped catches by the home team or the five suicidal runouts by the visitors. In a race to the bottom, it seemed neither side wanted to win. Ultimately the rain and Duckworth Lewis were the winners.
Stafanie Taylor won her second successive toss and chose to bat. This looked a good decision, despite the ball keeping low at one end. Pakistan skipper Javeria Khan wisely used pace at that end and spin at the other. Another good start by the openers Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews until the wheels fell off in the fifth over. Dottin (17) was bowled by a much improved Fatima Sana and Hayley Matthews followed in the sixth, caught by Javeria Rauf from the bowling of Nida Dar for 9. 34/0 became 36/2.
Fatima then picked up another scalp. They don’t get much bigger than the West Indies captain who was trapped in for 5. With their three big guns in the shed with only 45 runs on the board, the home team looked vulnerable. And for good reason. There are some quite good players down the order, but none with the pedigree of the top three. It showed. The run rate flattened and wickets continued to tumble.
The left handed Kyshona Knight is one of the better ones, but she fell for 15 to the bowling of Anam Amin. The left-arm slow bowler then removed Chedean Nation for a laboured 28. Pick of the bunch was wicket keeper Kycia Knight who is as pleasing a stroke maker as her sister. She finished with 30 not out from 20 deliveries. West Indies total was 125/6 and one felt that this might be Pakistan’s day.
Pakistan’s chief selector Urooj Mumtaz spoke last month about being “match aware.” It hasn’t sunk in. It doesn’t read well… Javeria Khan was runout in the first over. Javeria Rauf was bowled by Matthews for 5 after having faced 12 balls. That’s two overs in the Powerplay to score runs.
A mix up between Imran Javed (15) and Nida Dar (29) brought about the second runout. Sidra Nawaz was promoted from the A team at the expense of Muneeba Ali and performed well with the gloves. With the bat, she should have been caught three times on her way to 17. The West Indies couldn’t a cold on this day. Sidra made them pay with an almighty six – the biggest in the series so far – perhaps helped on its way the Hurricane Elsa, battering nearby Barbados.
Just as Sidra was looking good, another runout. It was the kind of running you see in schools cricket. If that wasn’t bad enough, another one, just to be sure. The top scorer for Pakistan in game one, Ayesha Naseem, was runout without facing a ball. Perhaps feeling left out, Nida Dar joined the club and became the fifth runout, and the fourth in which she was involved.
And yet. Yet, there was still a window for Pakistan, despite this. Fatima Sana and Aliya Riaz. Then the rain came. Elsa was flexing her muscle.
Back on the field a short while later, then the strangest thing. Chinelle Henry collapsed in the field. She was just laying on her back, motionless. A rush of players, then medicos, then a stretcher and Chinelle left the ground in an ambulance.
This awful event was stressful enough for the players who during the rain delay witnessed one more player go down in similar fashion. What was going on? Chedean Nation was also stretchered away and left the ground in another ambulance.
The players took the field for one last time. Fatima hit a huge six. It was the last ball of the match, for she hit the ball so high it brought the rain. Pakistan still needed 20 runs from the last two overs but the players never returned to the ground and Duckworth Lewis decided that the West Indies were winners by 7 runs.
The match had it all. A stunning cricket ground, the backdrop and lurking danger of a Hurricane, two players collapsing for no apparent reason, and two sides doing their best not to win. What is worse? Five dropped catches or five runouts? I’m not sure, but it certainly showed that two teams were racing to find the bottom.
* Late news: both Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation are stable in hospital. No further details available at this stage. We send our thoughts and prayers.
West Indies 125/6 (Kycia Knight 30*, Nation 28, Sana 2-18) 20 overs
Pakistan 103/6 (Dar 29) 18 overs
Player of the Match: TBA