S.M. Hussain in Karachi
Super Over! It cannot get more exciting than this. When the fate of a cricket match is decided by one over each, the crowd goes haywire. And that’s exactly what happened at the Southend Club in Karachi in the 2nd T20 match between Pakistan Women and West Indies Women.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on a sunny but cold and windy Karachi morning. Pakistan opener Umaima Sohail was dismissed for nought on the sixth ball of the first over. Her partner, Javeria Khan, managed to build the innings with her captain Bismah Maroof. Their 59-run partnership gave a decent foundation for the other batters.
There was an immense improvement in Pakistan’s running between the wickets today which enabled them to post a decent total on the board. Unlike yesterday, the girls in green batted with purpose. Perhaps coach Mark Coles, who looked extremely disappointed after the first match, played a role in this remarkable change.
Nida Dar made 25 runs off 24 balls and gave the requisite impetus at an important juncture of the innings. Iram Javed chipped in with 18 runs, but it was the late flourish of Aliya Riaz (23 off 13 balls) which paved the way for her team’s final total of 132 runs. Sloppy West Indies fielding was also a major factor in Pakistan’s batting ‘resurrection’ today.
The target of 132 runs seemed respectable, but not a daunting one for the strong West Indies batting line-up. Openers Kycia Knight (32) and Deandra Dottin (22) got off to a formidable start. Batting one down, Shemaine Campbelle (41) was taking the game away from Pakistan, but Aiman Anwer struck in the nineteenth over and got the prized wicket of Campbelle.
Not only that, Aiman conceded just three runs in this crucial over and brought Pakistan back into the game. West Indies required 13 runs from the last over, but only managed to score 12, to tie the match and play the Super Over.
It was again the sheer power of Deandra Dottin which made all the difference in the end. She is such a powerful hitter of the ball that when she hits it for six, she can clear the boundary rope of any ground in the world.
Pakistan’s captain Bismah Maroof perhaps made her worst decision of the match when she asked off-spinner Sana Mir to bowl the Super Over. Pacer Aiman Anwer would have been the best choice.
Dottin’s eyes must have lit up at the sight of Mir getting ready to bowl the most important six balls of the match. Out of six balls, she hit three (one 4 and two 6) to the boundary rope – she made eighteen runs off the over. It was game, set, and match. The rest was just a mere formality.
West Indies Women lead the three match series 2-0.
S.M. Hussain is a freelance cricket writer and journalist based in Pakistan. He tweets from @CaughtAtPoint.