CANBERRA – West Indies vice-captain Anisa Mohammed has called for her batters to give more support to the bowlers in Wednesday’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Group B clash with Pakistan, after a tight tournament opener against minnows Thailand. While the experienced Stafanie Taylor-led squad eventually came out on top in their encounter with the World Cup debutants, their batting left much to be desired as they initially struggled while chasing down 79 for victory.
Even after the bowlers did a good job of restricting Thailand to 78 in their 20 overs, they lost three early wickets to slip to 27 in the seventh over. They recovered courtesy of an unbroken 53-run third wicket stand between their skipper and Shemaine Campbelle to reach their target in 16.4 overs.
Mohammed on Tuesday challenged her side, which boasts more T20I caps in their squad than any other nation at the World Cup, to do better with the bat and put a big score on the board in their encounter here otoday at the Manuka Oval.
“I think our batting just needs to improve a bit,” the world-class spinner said.
“Our fielding and our bowling against Thailand was spot on— the seamers set the tone and as spinners, we enjoyed the bounce we got from the pitch. As a group we’ve had to fill in for Shakera [Selman] and we did that, she’s a big bowler and they are big shoes to fill.”
The Windies batting line-up has disappointed in the past. The Caribbean women have been dismissed in double figures five times since the last T20 World Cup and they were bowled out for 71 by Australia in their 2018 semi-final on home soil.
Mohammed warned that their next opponent in this year’s tournament should not be taken lightly.
The two sides faced each other in two warm-up matches in the weeks leading up to the World Cup and in an entertaining three-match series 12 months ago.
“Pakistan have some good players and they’re a very different team from when we played them in previous series,” Mohammed said.
“I think they’re a pretty good team. Their bowling is really their strength, so hopefully our batters can counter that and put a total on the board for us to bowl at. All teams in this competition are strong, everyone’s here to win and to qualify. We’re taking every game very seriously.”
Pakistan meanwhile, plan to make the Caribbean side’s proclivity for hitting big work in their favour.
All-rounder Nida Dar said after watching the Windies play Thailand in their opener last and seeing them struggle to rotate strike against the newcomers, she believes her side can capitalise on the six-hitting bravado of the Windies Women.
“West Indies want to show their skills, because they are strong and hit a boundary from every ball,” said Nida.
“They were very disturbed by the pace Thailand bowled to them. Slower balls and variations can be very helpful for us against them as they try to hit hard every time. Maybe in our match they’ll adapt to conditions and try to rotate the strike. Asian teams are giving tough times to everyone at the World Cup and our spinners will try to do the same.”
The Bismah Maroof-led squad have an average age of 25 and fewer combined caps than all the T20 World Cup teams apart from Sri Lanka and Thailand.
But Nida, whose Big Bash League experience with Sydney Thunder will be crucial for her side, is confident she and her teammates have what it takes.
“Our youth is the best thing about our team. West Indies won’t know all of our players and some of them will be a surprise package,” said the 33-year-old.
“I’m in a team of very talented players with a mix of senior and junior players. I hope they’re looking forward to playing at the World Cup. We just want to show our skills.”
The encounter with West Indies will be Pakistan’s first match of the tournament. First ball is 4 am Eastern Caribbean time. (CMC)