By Wayne Holder | Thu, May 03, 2012 - 12:05 AM
Stafanie Taylor lived up to her reputation as the best female West Indies cricketer by turning in a dynamic, match-winning performance with both bat and ball yesterday.
Her inspirational display ensured the Windies Women withstood a determined Sri Lanka effort to prevail by seven runs in the second Twenty20 International of the five-match series at Kensington Oval.
The 20-year-old all-rounder, at the helm of the West Indies team for the second successive match, struck 62 to steer her team to a competitive 129 for four after winning the toss and electing to bat.
She returned with the ball to thwart a threatening Sri Lanka assault on the target by grabbing three timely wickets for 23 runs and engineer the narrow victory as the Windies took a 2-0 lead in the series.
Taylor and fellow opener Juliana Nero got the West Indies off to a flying start, blazing away for 8.2 overs to post exactly 50 before the latter departed for 29 (32 balls, five fours).
Hard-hitting Barbadian Deandra Dottin continued her lean run in the series, falling to a leg side catch by wicketkeeper Prasadini Weerakoddy for a single, and when in-form lefthander Shanel Daley was forced to retire hurt due to an injury to the fight forearm, Taylor, the No.1 ranked all-rounder on the ICC Reliance Rankings assumed the responsibility for ushering her team to a respectable total.
Before giving a catch to short third man in the penultimate over, the right-handed Jamaican further made her presence felt in helping to blast 47 runs from the last five overs while linking up with wicketkeeper Shemaine Campbell to add 46 for the fifth wicket.
Altogether, Taylor who faced 49 balls, stroked six fours and celebrated reaching her ninth International T20 half-century off 44 balls with a thumping straight six off off-spinner Shashikala Siriwardena. Campbelle remained until the end on 22 not out (two fours, 18 balls).
Sri Lanka were off to the worst possible start, losing the wickets of opener Yasoda Mendis and Weerakoddy with only nine on the board at the start of the fourth over.
Deepika Rasangika and Inoka Galagedera hauled the visitors back into the match, both unafraid to take the attack to the bowlers as West Indies, who had waltzed to an easy win by 22 runs in the first match Tuesday, came under pressure for the first time.
It took a moment of magic in the field to break the burgeoning partnership. Rasangika drove to deep cover where Dottin swooped around to her right and in one motion picked up the ball and fired a return with pinpoint accuracy to the non-striker’s end that found Galagedera short of her ground seeking a second run.
Taylor got into the act when she held on to a magnificent diving catch off spinner Anisa Mohammed to remove Shashikala Siriwardena before coming back to rattle the stumps of the dangerous Rasangika (39) who had mounted a quick 38-run partnership with Chamani Seneviratne (25).
Dottin made her impact on the game by featuring in two more run-outs, while Taylor grabbed another two wickets in the penultimate over as the Sri Lankans lost their way.
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