Nail-Biting Thriller as West Indies Clinch Series Victory against Pakistan on final ball of 50th over

Led by captain Hayley Matthews’ outstanding performance, the West Indies delivered a commanding victory in the opening match of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against hosts Pakistan. In contrast to the one-sided affair of the opener, the second ODI witnessed a gripping contest that unfolded as a nail-biting affair, culminating in a final-ball thriller.

Nail-Biting Thriller as West Indies Clinch Series Victory against Pakistan on final ball of 50th over
Nail-Biting Thriller as West Indies Clinch Series Victory against Pakistan on final ball of 50th over. PC: PCB

Winning the toss, Pakistan elected to bat first. Despite an early setback with Muneeba Ali being bowled for 2(8), Bismah Maroof and opener Sidra Amin steadied the innings. The duo cautiously built a solid 80-run partnership, with Sidra reaching her 8th ODI fifty. However, her innings came to an end shortly after, as she was trapped lbw off Afy Fletcher for 50(70).

While Bismah held firm at one end, wickets continued to tumble at the other – as Sadaf Shamas (9), Nida Dar (15), and Aliya Riaz (6) all had brief stays at the crease – and Pakistan found themselves in trouble at 140 for 5. Despite the fall of wickets, Pakistan managed to build a couple of important partnerships, albeit brief. Fatima Sana chipped in scoring 11 runs, and Najiha Alvi then joined Bismah to form a substantial 31-run stand. However, the partnership came to an end with Bismah’s dismissal for 65(105).

With tailenders Tuba Hassan (1) and Umm-e-Hani (3) not contributing much to the tally, Pakistan again lost wickets in a cluster, struggling at 201 for 9. However, a 22-run final-wicket partnership between Najiha Alvi, who scored a handy 25 runs, alongside Saida Iqbal (6*), helped the team post a total of 223. Karishma Ramharack and Chinelle Henry led the West Indies bowling attack with three wickets each, followed by Afy Fletcher with a couple of wickets and Hayley Matthews with one.

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West Indies got off to a decent start in their reply, with Hayley Matthews continuing her excellent form. However, her opening partner, Rashada Williams, struggled and was dismissed for 7(25) in the 10th over. Shemaine Campbelle joined Matthews in the middle, immediately hitting a boundary off Umm-e-Hani’s first ball. However, apart from that boundary, the 39-run partnership between Matthews and Campbelle didn’t see a second boundary, as Tuba also maintained tight lines.

Umm-e-Hani’s efforts were rewarded as she claimed the crucial wicket of Hayley Matthews for 44(63). Stafanie Taylor then partnered with Shemaine Campbelle, and after a drought of boundaries lasting 12 overs, Taylor managed to find the fence. The duo began finding boundaries with ease and at regular intervals, allowing their partnership to flourish.

West Indies appeared to be in complete control of the chase, poised for another dominant victory. However, Pakistan staged a spirited fightback. Off the first ball of the 38th over, with West Indies at 159, Umm-e-Hani provided a crucial breakthrough by dismissing Shemaine Campbelle for 52(73), ending the 88-run partnership. One wicket led to another as Chedean Nation departed early for 6(15). Nonetheless, Stafanie Taylor found a reliable partner in Chinelle Henry to steady the innings.

The partnership between Stafanie Taylor and Chinelle Henry yielded a brief 22 runs before Taylor was dismissed for 73(90) off Sadia. West Indies then suffered a collapse, losing the wickets of Aaliyah Alleyne (2) and Afy Fletcher (2) in quick succession. Chinelle Henry also succumbed to the pressure, departing for 23(20). With the match hanging in the balance, Karishma Ramharack struck a boundary off the final ball, securing the series victory for West Indies with two wickets to spare.

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Pakistan’s late fightback was spearheaded by skipper Nida Dar, who returned impressive figures of 4/52 from her nine overs. Umm-e-Hani also contributed with a couple of wickets, while Fatima Sana and Sadia Iqbal bagged a wicket each.

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