Wednesday, June 19, 2024

ICC: Windies play down pressure of crunch clash with Pakistan

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Photo Credit: ICC

It is do or die for the West Indies in Sunday’s must-win clash with Pakistan, but Shemaine Campbelle insists her side will not let the pressure get to them in Paarl.

Victory over Ireland on Friday gave West Indies a slim chance of progression from Group 2, after defeats against England and India, thanks to an unbeaten 66 from Hayley Matthews. 

But in order to give themselves any chance of a place in the knockout stages, they must defeat Pakistan, buoyed by their own victory over Ireland after Muneeba Ali’s incredible 102. 

Pressure will be on both sides to go out and back that win up to apply pressure to the top two, but Campbelle is adamant that the West Indies will stick to their guns and enjoy themselves. 

She said: “Obviously we’re not going to think about that much to add any pressure on ourselves.  

“It’s just to go out and play the brand of cricket that we can play and just doing the basic things right. 

“Then we can just play the cricket that we know we can play and at the end of the day the results will come. 

“They come in with a win, we also have a win so I think both teams have that confidence but it’s just for us to go out and apply ourselves and just play the brand of cricket that we know we can play.” 

Campbelle herself scored just eight runs in that win over Ireland, but after scores of 34 and 30 against England and India, she is finding her form, but is all too aware there is more work to do. 

She added: “Over the year I’ve been fighting myself to get runs for the team but I just got this form that I find in myself works well – but it’s just for me to take it longer and try to bat deep down for the team. 

“That is especially in that middle part because that’s where most of my game comes into play.  

“I think it’s for me now to capitalise and just take it deep, so that’s something I will look to do.” 

It is set to be compelling viewing at Boland Park with both sides needing victory and coming into the game off the back of wins, something Pakistan bowler Aiman Anwer believes will give her side the edge. 

She said: “It is a very important match, it is crucial to stay alive in this tournament and we have had very good preparation for it. 

“We are confident after the Ireland victory that if we play with our full potential in this match, we can win the match. 

“I think the West Indies team are very good and every player in their team is a striker so we can never take them easy.” 

Pakistan were narrowly defeated the last time they played at Boland Park, losing to South Africa in a World Cup warm-up match, and Aiman feels it is a fair pitch for both batting and bowling. 

“Yes, I think the wicket was supportive for both the batters and the bowlers. It’s about the execution and who absorbs the pressure best,” she added. 

“We had a match against South Africa there, we did well in the batting but we were unable to stop them in the power play.  

“But then we made a strong comeback so we have high beliefs that if we play up to our potential, we can always perform well on any wicket.” 

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