BIRMINGHAM, England – West Indies internationals Kycia Knight and Hayley Matthews struck half-centuries as Barbados Women stunned Pakistan Women by 15 runs in their opening Group A contest of the Commonwealth Games here Friday.
Sent in at Edgbaston, Barbados coasted to 144 for four off their 20 overs with the left-handed Kycia Knight striking a brisk unbeaten 62 off 56 deliveries and captain Matthews, who also skippers West Indies, lashing 51 off 50 balls.
In reply, veteran Nida Dar struck a valiant unbeaten 50 off 31 deliveries but she lacked support and Pakistan Women came up short at 129 for six.
Featuring seven West Indies players in their ranks, Barbados were always going to be a handful and so they proved, rattling up a strong total to put Pakistan under pressure.
They lost Deandra Dottin cheaply for eight in the first over but Knight and Matthews consolidated well in an outstanding second wicket stand worth 107.
The 30-year-old Knight, with 64 T20 Internationals behind her name, lashed nine fours while Matthews, 24, appointed West Indies captain last month, counted four fours and a six.
Twenty-year-old fast bowler Fatima Sana finished with two for 41.
Pakistan’s run chase was imperilled from the outset when speedster Shamilia Connell removed Imran Javed to a catch at the wicket off the first ball of the innings.
The innings then spiralled, Matthews featuring in two run outs and grabbing a wicket with her off-spin as the Asian side declined further to 49 for four in the 11th over.
Nida arrived to provide Pakistan with a glimmer of hope, belting seven fours and a six while adding an invaluable 69 for the fifth wicket with Aliya Riaz who made 14 in a supporting role.
When Aliya fell to the final delivery of the penultimate over, Pakistan were left needing 27 from the last six deliveries of the game – a task which proved beyond their reach.
Meanwhile, Australia produced a thrilling comeback to recover from 49-5 and beat India by three wickets in an entertaining first women’s Twenty20 cricket match in Birmingham.
Harmanpreet Kaur scored 52 off 34 balls and Shafali Verma hit 48 from 33 to help India to 154-8 at Edgbaston.
India seamer Renuka Singh Thakur then starred with the ball, taking 4-18.
But Australia rallied after their early collapse, with Ashleigh Gardner striking 52 off 35 to seal the win.
Australia are the reigning world champions in this format of cricket, having beaten India in the T20 World Cup final in 2020.
West Indies and Australia clash on Sunday. (CMC)
D Dottin c Bismah Maroof b Diana Baig 8
*H Matthews c wkp Muneeba Ali b Fatima Sana 51
+Kycia Knight not out 62
Kyshona Knight c Aliya Riaz b Fatima Sana 9
A Alleyne run out 0
Extras (lb2, w12) 14
TOTAL (4 wkts, 20 overs) 144
Did not bat: T Holder, A Scantlebury, S Selman, Shamilia Connell, Aaliyah Williams, Shanika Bruce
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-116, 3-134, 4-144.
Bowling: Diana Baig 2-0-14-1 (w1), Anam Amin 4-0-24-0 (w2), Fatima Sana 4-0-41-2 (w1), Nida Dar 4-0-25-0, Tuba Hassan 3-0-22-0, Omaima Sohail 3-0-16-0 (w3).
Iram Javed c wkp Kycia Knight b Connell 0
+Muneeba Ali b Matthews 17
Omaima Sohail run out 10
*Bismah Maroof run out 12
Nida Dar not out 50
Aliya Riaz c Connell b Alleyne 14
Ayesha Naseem c Matthews b Dottin 7
Extras (b1, lb4, w13, nb1) 19
TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs) 129
Did not bat: Fatima Sana, Tuba Hassan, Diana Baig, Anam Amin
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-17, 3-40, 4-49, 5-118, 6-129
Bowling: Connell 4-0-28-1 (w4), Bruce 1-0-10-0 (w1), Alleyne 4-0-29-1 (w2, nb1), Matthews 4-0-13-1, Selman 4-0-19-0 (w2), Dottin 3-0-25-1 (w4)
Result: Barbados won by 15 runs.
Points: Barbados 2, Pakistan 0.
Toss: Pakistan Women.
Umpires: Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra; TV – Lauren Agenbag.