Pakistan ended a run of 18 straight defeats at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and it took a 20-over match in a 50-over tournament. West Indies’ batting troubles finally caught up with them as they lost a low-scoring, rain-hit match in Hamilton on Monday by eight wickets.

While the day started with a deluge at Seddon Park and the outfield drenched, the sunshine for a few hours later in the day saw the match start just at the cut-off time.

West Indies were asked to bat first and were restricted to 89/7 after 20 overs. Pakistan spinners were brilliant, starting off with the pressure build by Anam Amin and then Nida Dar registered figures of 4/10 in her four overs.

The run-chase largely went smoothly despite how the team struggled against Bangladesh to collapse, with the strike rotation a huge difference maker between the two sides. Muneeba Ali, brought in at the top of the order, played a crucial hand and then Bismah Maroof was unbeaten at the end along with Omaima Sohail.

Points table after PAK vs WI

 Australia 5 5 0 +1.424 10
 South Africa 4 4 0 +0.226 8
 West Indies 6 3 3 -0.885 6
 India 5 2 3 +0.456 4
 England 5 2 3 +0.327 4
 New Zealand 6 2 4 -0.229 4
 Bangladesh 4 1 3 -0.342 2
 Pakistan 5 1 4 -0.878 2

With the win, Pakistan registered a win at this tournament for the first time since March 2009 (when they incidentally beat West Indies in Sydney) and ended a run of two editions without points on the board. It also severely dented West Indies’ hopes of finishing in the top four as they will face South Africa in their final match. The likes of India, England and even New Zealand, received boosts to their hopes of securing a spot in the top four.

Left-handed opener Muneeba Ali set up Pakistan’s run chase perfectly as the West Indies’ chances of qualifying for the semifinals suffered a bump. Muneeba, playing for the first time in the tournament, scored a brisk 37 and Omaima Sohail hit the winning runs much to the delight of her team-mates.

The match got underway five hours later than scheduled after a herculean effort from the ground staff to clear the standing water, with Pakistan winning the toss and choosing to bowl.

Diana Baig was targeted by Deandra Dottin, who took four fours off her in her first two overs, but Dottin did not have the same joy against Anam Amin, who conceded just six runs off her four overs.

The West Indies’ leading run-scorer Hayley Matthews never got going as she was dismissed for one from seven balls off the bowling of Fatima Sana, Muneeba taking a good high catch at backward point.

Stafanie Taylor survived being dropped on nought but failed to find the boundary like Dottin, whose dismissal also signalled the end of the West Indies’ attacking intent.

The first of Nida’s wickets was a crucial one as she held a low return catch to dismiss Dottin for 27 off 35 balls, before having Shemaine Campbelle stumped for seven to reduce the Windies to 46 for three with eight overs remaining.

Pakistan kept chipping away with wickets at vital times, Omaima clean bowling Chedean Nation for a duck before Nida finished her record-breaking spell in style, dismissing Kycia Knight and Chinelle Henry in successive deliveries – Aliya Riaz taking two attempts at holding on to a catch on the long-on boundary to account for the latter.

Nashra completed a team hat-trick as Taylor fell from the next ball of the innings, the captain departing for 18 runs from 31 deliveries, as the bowler took a return catch.

Afy Fletcher finished with a flourish, hitting back-to-back boundaries off Nashra as the Maroon Warriors searched for a competitive total.

They ended on 89 for seven after 23 runs from the final two overs, though Pakistan sat safe in the knowledge that they had chased down 124 against the Windies in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

Matthews started the defence with a maiden before being struck for back-to-back boundaries as Pakistan ended the four-over powerplay with 17 runs, two behind where the West Indies had been at the same stage.

Sidra Amin, Pakistan’s centurion in the loss to Bangladesh, was the first to fall as she was bowled by Fletcher bowled her, spin continuing to do the damage in Hamilton.

Muneeba, in her first World Cup game, matched her captain and batting partner Bismah Maroof for energy and composure as the pair rotated the strike expertly.

A lapse in judgement saw Muneeba dismissed as having survived both a dropped catch and a run out chance off the previous ball, she was caught by Dottin mistiming a big swing.

Shakera Selman claimed the wicket as the opener was forced to depart for 37 from 43 balls, bringing an end to the 35-run partnership to leave Pakistan needing 33 runs in 46 balls.

Bismah remained until the end and was there to celebrate with Omaima as she hit the winning runs to end 13 years of drought. The current captain was part of the XI back then as well.

Brief scores from the Women’s Cricket World Cup on Monday as Pakistan beat the West Indies by eight wickets in a rain-shortened match in Hamilton:

West Indies 89/7 in 20.0 overs (Deandra Dottin 27, Stafanie Taylor 18; Nida Dar 4/10)
Pakistan 90/2 in 18.5 overs (Muneeba Ali 37, Omaima Sohail 22 not out, Bismah Maroof 20 not out).
Player of the Match: Nida Dar (Pakistan)

(With ICC inputs)