Pakistan v West Indies Review
It was a comprehensive 3-0 series victory for the West Indies and a perfect tune-up for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. With a full squad including captain Stafanie Taylor, the team is in good stead for a place in the World Cup in March 2022.
Pakistan on the other hand were on the wrong side of the ledger. It did not help that they were minus three of their best, including the captain Javeria Khan, for the first match, but oddly enough that match was the closest the team came to matching it with the West Indies.
- First ODI: West Indies by 45 runs
- Second ODI: West Indies by 37 runs
- Third ODI: West Indies by 6 wickets
West Indies Review
This was a clinical display by a West Indies team back to its full strength as they used this series as a training run for the World Cup qualifiers. Given that Pakistan are the highest ranked ODI team in the qualifiers, they way the Windies brushed them aside is an omen to the other teams that the Caribbean women are a strong force to be reckoned with.
Good to see Deandra Dottin back to her best, her highest score in ODIs in the first match (132) and top score (34) in the low scoring second match. She looked unhurried and in control. Her opening partner Rashada Williams didn’t shine but scored runs against South Africa and looks competent enough to fill the role in the long term.
West Indies tried a few options at number three and it seems like a work in progress. It might pay to persist with one of the left handed Knight sisters – neither put their hand up but it must be tempting to persist. The rest of the middle order looks solid with both Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor showing good form. Matthews in particular played a hand in each of the victories, hence Player of the Tournament.
In the Field
Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman have surely sewn up the opening bowling spots. Both displayed excellent form in this series, Connell the pacier, more aggressive of the two, Selman just a lovely, fluid action and money in the bank, always delivering with interest. Connell returned career best figures of 3-18 in game two and probably bowling at her best. The energetic and rambunctious Aaliyah Alleyne continues to improve.
Spin options – well, you have the greatest wicket taker of all time in Anisa Mohammed – a quiet series for her, overshadowed somewhat by Matthews. Qiana Joseph also bowled well at times and Stafanie Taylor also rolled the arm over.
The fielding was as you would expect from a West Indies team, Dottin patrolling point and Taylor at mid-off. The outfielding deserves a mention and Selman was particularly good. The fielding unit is at its best when the first choice wicket keeper is in the house. Shemaine Campbelle lifts this team with the voice from her gloves. She only kept in the first game – took a spectacular outfield catch in the second game – but the second choice keepers are exactly that – second choice.
Overall the team looks in great nick. Far from the team that went down to South Africa at home in September, but also far better than the team that beat Pakistan at home in July. Peaking at the right time.
The home team went into this series missing three of their best in captain Javeria Khan, best allrounder in Nida Dar and key pace bowler Diana Baig. Javeria and Diana were back for the second two games but Nida was missing for the entire series. It showed.
This is a team that struggles for runs even with a full team. They have tried many combinations this year – young blood, old blood – still the same story. That the best batter, the captain Javeria, has not scored a half century in 10 outings this year is telling. The batting around her is brittle.
Looking for positives, the left-hand opener Muneeba Ali made her top ODI score of 58 in the third ODI. This followed her good form in the first two matches. All she needs is a good batting partner at the top and Pakistan are set. That is a puzzle yet to be solved. So too the inability to manufacture singles. It is a vital part of opening the batting. Muneeba is key but she needs a mate at the top to work with.
The middle order is chaotic. Aside from Javeria there are few options. Iram Javed stood up at times as did Aliya Riaz but more is needed. The batting has been a chronic issue for Pakistan for this entire year and the absence of Nida Dar only emphasised the problem.
In the Field:
The bowling is a far happier tale to tell. The ever growing presence of Fatima Sana, the right arm fast medium opener – such a bright future for Pakistan – and she can bat too. Give her more time in the middle and she becomes a key allrounder for this team. Her partner in crime Diana Baig had a soft series by her standards but these two players are the future for Pakistan. Both excellent in the field too.
Left arm slow bowler Anam Amin was Pakistan’s best bowler by far. She was pure genius with the ball opening the bowling. Joining her the other left-arm slow bowlers Nashra Sandhu and Sadia Iqbal also had good series. This is an area of great strength for Pakistan.
The bowling and the fielding are very good for this team. A specialist wicket keeper such as Sidra Nawaz would be ideal, rather than a part timer such as Muneeba. She performed reasonably but at times was all at sea. Sidra offers much more with the gloves and is more vocal. Pakistan work better when she is behind the stumps.
For both of these teams, a solid workout before the World Cup Qualifiers. Windies look like they will secure a spot in a canter. Pakistan have work to do.