LAHORE - After a thrilling T20I series in Karachi, Pakistan and the West Indies lock horns in the ICC Women’s Championship fourth round fixture comprising three One-Day Internationals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today (Thursday).

The two teams will be aiming to win the series and collect valuable ICC Women’s Championship points, as after three rounds, the West Indies are sitting in fifth position on nine points with four wins and as many defeats, while Pakistan are sixth on eight points with four wins and five loses, said a PCB press release issued here Wednesday.

The two teams shaped their preparations and plans for the first match through extended practice sessions on Wednesday, with the series trophy being later unveiled at the match venue. West Indies enjoy a 17-5 on a head to head in the ODI format. The two teams last met in a four-match series in the West Indies (October 2015), which Pakistan lost 1-3 after winning the first match of the series in St. Lucia.

The West Indies will be captained by their regular skipper Stafanie Taylor who takes over the reins from Merissa Aguilleira, who led the side in the T20I series. During the series, Pakistan’s star all-rounder Sana Mir will aim to consolidate her stay at the top of the ICC Women’s ODI Bowling Rankings. She has 663 points and leads Australia’s Megan Schutt by three points.

Taylor is ranked ninth in the batting table, while she occupies 10th and second spots in the bowlers’ and all-rounders’ tables, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof has received an all-clear from the specialists after undergoing scans following a freak fielding incident during a practice session on Wednesday evening. Bismah was hit on the jaw by the ball while trying to take a high catch and was immediately taken to a local hospital for precautionary tests, which were found to be all clear. Decision on her availability for the opening ODI against the Windies will be made on Thursday morning.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said: “This championship is vital, as it determines and affects our future settings and qualification in the World Cup. So, hopefully this series will better our position on the points table. I don’t think we have an edge over them with respect to venue. We have played in Sharjah, not in Dubai. The field conditions vary quite a lot. So playing in Dubai in new conditions will be a challenge as well.”

“If we manage to put enough runs on the board, good pressure can be put with our bowling as it had been quite effective in curtailing them in previous matches. Both formats are quite different but from the T20s we got a lot of encouragement psychologically because we could have won the series had we not stretched one game to the Super Over. So, that scenario elevated our morale and will be really helpful in the ODIs.”

Windies captain Stafanie Taylor said: “We are taking these games very seriously, not underestimating Pakistan. We definitely need some points under our belt, just need to go out and play our game. I have not played much here, maybe one game, so I don’t know what to expect. But being close (in proximity) to Pakistan, the pitch might be a bit slow and it is for us to go in there and look to see what is happening and then move on from there. “We are an all-round team, so I think all areas are pretty good. The fact that we won the T20I series is a boost coming into this series. They have match winners – five or so who can win games. Nida Dar, Sana Mir, captain Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan can all win games. We have strong and talented players who could win the game for us. We are very good in T20Is but also need to improve our ODI cricket.”