West Indies kept their slender semi-final hopes alive with a nail-biting three-run win over Pakistan that went down to the last ball.

Bidding to build on their win over Ireland, Windies opted to bat and posted a below-par 116-6 at Boland Park in Paarl.

Skipper Hayley Matthews took key Pakistan wickets early and late in the innings to inspire her side to a dramatic victory.

Matthews and Rashada Williams flayed 15 from the bowling of Aiman Anwer in the fourth over but navigated the powerplay in cagey fashion.

Matthews perished late in the powerplay when she tried to lift Fatima Sana over the midwicket boundary but only found the hands of Sidra Ameen.

It was a massive wicket that sparked wild celebrations but not a flurry of scalps as Shemaine Campbelle joined Williams and the pair put on 40 at a run-a-ball.

The second-wicket stand came to a tame end when Williams offered a simple return catch to the outstanding Sadia Iqbal to depart for 30.

Chinelle Henry muscled two boundaries but was trapped in front by Nida Dar for 11 and Campbelle went in the next over, smartly stumped by Muneeba Ali.

Nida Dar bowled Aaliyah Alleyne in the penultimate over, her 125th T20I wicket, making her the joint-leading wicket-taker in the history of the format.

Pakistan began cautiously in reply to 116-6 and it was Windies game-changer Matthews who got the breakthrough, dismissing the dangerous Muneeba Ali for five in the fourth over.

Matthews was at the heart of the action again two balls later when she took a sharp catch at midwicket to account for Sidra Ameen, with Pakistan 15 for two.

The experienced pairing of Bismah and Nida then embarked on a measured partnership that rarely got out of first gear until the latter whipped Henry to the midwicket fence in the 13th.

Nida looked to go aerial again in the next over but was deceived in the flight by Afy Fletcher and caught at extra cover by Karishma Ramharack, with 57 runs still required.

Pakistan have been by some distance the best finishers at this tournament and Aliya Riaz began to free her arms.

But she lost the stabilising influence of Bismah who was given out LBW on review after mistiming a reverse sweep off the bowling of Matthews.

Aliya and Fatima needed 18 from the final over and they took 13 from Shamilia Connell’s first four balls with some brilliant hitting, before Aliya chopped on to her own stumps to dramatically end Pakistan’s hopes.

Scores in brief

West Indies beat Pakistan at Boland Park, Paarl by three runs

West Indies 116 for 6 in 20 overs (Rashada Williams 30, Shemaine Campbelle 22; Nida Dar 2/13, Fatima Sana 1/10)

Pakistan 113 for 5 in 20 overs (Aliya Riaz 29, Nida Dar 27; Hayley Matthews 2/14, Karishma Ramharack 1/18)

Player of the Match: Hayley Matthews (West Indies)

New Zealand defeat Sri Lanka to boost semi-final hopes

New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka by 102 runs in Paarl to ensure Group 1 at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will go down to the wire.

Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr combined for a second wicket stand of 110, their nation’s third-highest ever at the tournament, to lift their side to an imposing 162 for three.

Sri Lanka were meek in reply, rolled for 60 to end their hopes of progression to the semi-finals, suffering the second-biggest defeat in T20 World Cup history in the process.

The White Ferns got the big net run rate swing they desired, meaning they climbed into second with South Africa facing Bangladesh on Tuesday in Group 1’s final game.

New Zealand preached positivity in the lead-up and Bernadine Bezuidenhout epitomised that approach, crushing a series of fours through the leg side when the bowling was too straight.

She raced to 32 from 20 balls but played one shot too many off Achini Kulasuriya, spooning a catch to Chamari Athapaththu at mid-off.

Bates and Kerr dropped anchor with the former picking up where she left off in the win over Bangladesh, piercing the field beautifully with the first two balls of the ninth over.

The pair didn’t score at an express pace but Kerr chose Athapaththu’s 13th over to accelerate, cover driving for four and then whipping through square leg to make it 93 for one.

Sri Lanka’s fielding was lacklustre - Bezuidenhout was given two early reprieves, Nilakshi de Silva shelling an easy chance to get Bates and a point blank run-out missed later on.

Kerr brought up her maiden T20I half-century off 40 balls and Bates her 24th in the closing stages.

The White Ferns rattled along to a fine total despite Bates being stumped for 56 and Kerr run out for 66 in the final over.

Sri Lanka coasted to 22 without loss in reply before capitulating.

Harshitha Samarawickrama holed out to deep midwicket off Eden Carson’s off-spin and then Bates took a stunner running back from mid-on to dismiss 17-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne for a duck.

Nilakshi de Silva swiped at a yorker and was clean bowled for a duck to leave Sri Lanka floundering on 24 for three.

Athapaththu briefly remained among the rubble but the hammer blow came when the captain was trapped in front by Amelia Kerr, given not out on field, a decision overturned on review.

The collapse continued when Anushka Sanjeewani chopped onto her stumps off Lea Tahuhu and the quick got another in her next over when Kavisha Dilhari patted to extra cover.

18-year-old Fran Jonas struck in her first over, bowling Oshadi Ranasinghe for three, and Sugandika Kumari was skilfully run out by Bezuidenhout at 48 for eight.

After a brief resistance from Malsha Shehani and Inoka Ranaweera, the former was bowled by the outstanding Amelia Kerr and Achini Kulasuriya not batting due to injury.

Scores in brief

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka at Boland Park, Paarl by 102 runs

New Zealand 162/3 from 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 66, Suzie Bates 56; Inoka Ranaweera 1/27, Achini Kulasuriya 1/14)

Sri Lanka 60 all out from 15.5 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 19, Malsha Shehani 10; Amelia Kerr 2/7, Lea Tahuhu 2/12)

Player of the Match: Amelia Kerr (New Zealand)

Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.