Ramharack stars with four wickets as West Indies clinch thriller against Pakistan in first T20I

By Sports Desk April 26, 2024

West Indies sealed a thrilling one-run win in the first women's T20I against Pakistan in Karachi. The visitors posted 122 after a disciplined bowling performance from Pakistan, which was spearheaded by Fatima Sana and Sadia Iqbal. But West Indies' bowlers responded in kind, shackling the Pakistan innings and turning the chase into a nervy one that went to the death. In the end, it would boil down to two runs off the final delivery, but Shamilia Connell beat the bat, and Shemaine Campbelle behind the stumps effected the run-out.

In the first of five T20Is, West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first as they looked to continue their 100% record in Pakistan on this tour. But on a pitch that gripped under the lights, it was Pakistan who started stronger as Iqbal struck of the second ball to send the talismanic captain Hayley Matthews back for a duck. Diana Baig, the most economical of the Pakistan bowlers, trapped Campbelle behind soon after to leave West Indies wobbling at 14 for two. The partnership between Qiana Joseph and Stafanie Taylor that followed did steady the ship, but Pakistan never quite let them get going.

A pair of valuable cameos - both Chedean Nation and Chinelle Henry scored 13 off 9 balls - helped West Indies tip over the run-a-ball mark, but Pakistan would have felt they had a slight edge at the halfway mark.

That advantage was bolstered by a dynamic innings from opener Sidra Ameen, whose 17-ball 23 put Pakistan ahead of the asking rate by the end of the powerplay. But losing both her and Gull Feroza within four balls of each other without adding to the score brought West Indies roaring back into it, and when Karishma Ramharack cleaned up Ayesha Zafar after a stilted innings, the visitors had edged ahead. But Pakistan captain Dar's 24-ball 27 saw Pakistan seize the advantage again as the game balanced on a tightrope throughout the innings.

It all came to a head in a dramatic final over, with Connell bowling. When Najiha Alvi smacked the penultimate ball for an exquisite inside-out cover drive for four, Pakistan appeared, for one final time, to be sneaking home. But a dot ball would follow, and as Pakistan hearts were broken, West Indies' streak held firm.

West Indies 122 for 9 (Joseph 34, Taylor 30, Sana 3-24) beat Pakistan 121 for 8 (Dar 27, Ramharack 4-15) by one run

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