Women’s T20 World Cup: England through to semi-finals after Pakistan lose to West Indies

PAARL (Agencies): England qualified for the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals after Pakistan slipped to a nervy three-run defeat by West Indies.
Chasing 117, Pakistan needed 18 from a dramatic final over but could only manage 14 to fall agonisingly short.
It meant England are certain to finish in the top two in Group 2 and can guarantee top spot if they avoid defeat to Pakistan on Tuesday. Rashada Williams earlier hit 30 from 34 balls as West Indies posted 116-6. The result moved West Indies up to third and level on points with second-placed India, meaning they still have a mathematical chance of reaching the semi-finals.
However, their inferior net run-rate means they need India to lose heavily against Ireland on Monday to overtake them. If India do lose then Pakistan would also have a chance of reaching the last four if they beat England on Tuesday.
Bismah Maroof’s side looked to have the upper hand when they restricted West Indies to a below-par score, but paid the price for an ultra-cautious approach at the start of their reply.
It took until the eighth over for Pakistan to hit a boundary and they limped to 40-2 at the halfway stage in a match littered with individual mistakes from both sides. Some hefty late hitting from Aliya Riaz – who scored a lively 29 from 23 balls – set up a dramatic finish, but West Indies just managed to squeeze home.
The 2016 winners once again had captain Hayley Matthews to thank for a superb all-round performance, scoring 20 from 21 balls with the bat, taking 2-14 with the ball and claiming a superb catch in the field.
Despite the loss, it was a memorable match for Pakistan all-rounder Nida Dar, who took 2-13 to become the joint-highest wicket-taker in Women’s T20I internationals with 125.
‘A complete team effort’ – reaction
West Indies captain and player of the match Hayley Matthews: “My heart is still beating a bit fast. As West Indians we like to keep the game close but glad we got over the line in the end.
“We knew we had to be extra special in the field today and we spoke about not just winning the game with the bat and ball, but in the field as well and I think the girls did that.
“Over the last couple of weeks I have tried to take on responsibility at the top of the order, but [Rashada] Williams was really good and it was a complete team effort again.”
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof: “It’s hurtful for everyone. It was very close. We weren’t up to the mark. “Spin was the plan because the wicket was slow. “The match against England is important. We have played good cricket throughout and we will continue that.”