ST GEORGE’S, Grenada –– Deandra Dottin took centre stage for the first time on Pakistan’s tour as West Indies Women easily disposed of Pakistan Women by eight wickets in the opening Twenty20 International of the three-match series at the National Cricket Stadium.
Opting to bowl first on captain Stafanie Taylor’s correct call, West Indies Women restricted the visitors to 74 for nine, with seamer Dottin taking two wickets for ten runs from her two overs. She then returned to stroke a fluent unbeaten 38 as the hosts cruised to their target with 22-balls remaining, to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
West Indies Women were slumping at 24 for two in the sixth over after losing openers Hayley Matthews (9) and Stafanie Taylor (8) cheaply but Dottin partnered with former skipper Merissa Aguilleira, 15 not out, in an unbroken 54-run third wicket stand, to pull the innings around.
The right-handed Dottin was the dominant partner, facing 39 deliveries and stroking three fours and a six while Aguilleira faced 28 balls without striking a boundary.
Aguilleira’s batting has been a revelation since being relieved of the captaincy prior to the series. Having not scored a half-century for more than two years, she has been in sizzling form and has already reeled off two half-centuries and a number of significant scores against Pakistan.
For Dottin, the knock was her first one of prominence on tour after getting a string of low scores during the preceding four-match One-Day International series, and it earned her the Player-of-the-Match award.
Earlier, she took key wickets and was supported by fast bowler Tremayne Smartt who finished with two for 13, as Pakistan Women never really got going.
Aliya Riaz, batting at number seven, top-scored with 16 and was one of only three players to reach double figures.
Pakistan were off to a horrid start when the usually prolific Javeria Khan was run out in the second over for one and wickets continued to tumble to leave the visitors tottering on 24 for five in the ninth over.
West Indies Women were briefly held up by a 36-run, stand between Riaz (16) and Nida Dar (13) but once the partnership was broken, the innings went into decline once again with Dottin helping to ensure a swift collapse.
In the 17th over bowled by Matthews, the talented Barbadian all-rounder first had Riaz caught by King off her first delivery. And on the final ball Dar was run out following some smart fielding after sticking around for 30 deliveries.
Dottin bowled the final over which went for just seven runs and in which she took the wicket of Asmavia Iqbal, caught and bowled for 4.
After the match Dottin said she and the team were very happy to start the series with a victory. She said the women had entered the series with a plan for a clean sweep. She also expressed her pleasure and ending a slump in form during the One-Day International series.
“I feel very good having come off a bad ODI series. But still going out there and putting in the hard work. It is a never give up situation and I just came out and tried to put my best foot forward,” Dottin said, adding she felt no pressure coming to the crease after West Indies Women had lost two early wickets.
And as far as the next two matches were concerned, Dottin had no doubts about the direction those would go.
“We are going to whitewash Pakistan,” she said.
The second T20I is scheduled for Saturday at the same venue.