Windies women fancy their chances against Pakistan

Three-time semifinalist West Indies will launch its 2016 World T20 campaign against an inexperienced Pakistan team in Chennai on Wednesday.

Pakistan players during a practice session at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.   -  THE HINDU

West Indies women’s team, which has made it to the semifinals of the biennial in the last three editions, will begin its 2016 campaign against Pakistan on Wednesday.

West Indies slumped to a huge defeat to Australia on Monday in a warm-up game, but will fancy its chances against a Pakistani side that is short on preparation after arriving late and missing the two warm-up games. WI had also beaten Pakistan at home recently.

Despite the defeat in the warm-up game, West Indies off-spinner Anisa Mohammed said: “Yesterday was a disappointing loss but it was good that we lost a game in the beginning of the tournament. Now we can go forward from here. We have played Pakistan before and so know what to expect from them. We are a bit tired of being in the semifinals and now want to go all the way through and win the tournament.”

To make up for the loss of practice matches, Pakistani all-rounder Asmavia Iqbal is counting on the experience of playing West Indies recently and the familiarity of sub-continent conditions ahead of her side’s opening fixture.

“Having played West Indies recently, we know their strength and weakness. Though we missed practice matches, we are mentally tough and the conditions and pitches are similar to what we have back home. We hope we can do well.”

While West Indies will count on the explosive batting power of skipper Stafanie Taylor and all-rounder Deandra Dottin, Pakistan will hedge its bets on batting mainstays Bismah Maroof and Javeria Wadood, alongside the experience of skipper Sana Mir.