Windies in final
MUMBAI – Gutsy West Indies defied the odds to beat Australia yesterday and book their place in the final of the ICC?Women’s World Cup for the first time in the tournament’s 40-year history here at the Middle Income Group Ground.
Facing defeat after being rolled over for a modest 164 all out off 47 overs, the Caribbean side dug deep, found the courage and resolve to shockingly bundle out the Aussies for 156 off 48.2 overs, and snatch a narrow eight-run victory in their final Super Six second round game.
It was the first time West Indies had beaten Australia in a One-Day International and ironically, they will now face them again in Sunday’s final for the cherished title of world champions. Australia clinched their place in the final last Sunday when they defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets.
The Windies’ surprise victory also dashed England’s chances of a spot in the final after the defending champions defeated New Zealand by 15 runs.
Australia were coasting towards victory at 130 for four in the 39th over when they suddenly ran aground, losing their last six wickets for 26 runs.
Off-spinner Stafanie Taylor proved her weight in gold with the ball, snatching two for 26 from her ten overs to ignite the collapse. Left-arm spinner Shanel Daley had earlier removed both openers to finish with three for 22.
Earlier, choosing to bat first, West Indies owed their survival to aggressive batsman Deandra Dottin who slammed a typically exciting 60 from 67 balls to rally the innings.
With the innings floundering badly from the start, Dottin arrived at No. 7 to strike ten fours and a six and give her side a much needed boost.
She posted 43 for the eighth wicket with 17-year-old Shaquana Quintyne whose 15 from 48 balls was also invaluable, preventing the Aussies from mopping up the tail swiftly.
West Indies captain Merissa Aguillera was elated after the victory.
“Words cannot express what I am feeling right now. I am completely overwhelmed. We have been through a lot as a team. Our bowlers did a fantastic job today. I felt some panic happening in their camp and I think that’s the time we started to attack them more. We realized that as long as we were bowling in correct areas, we will get wickets and that’s exactly what happened,” she said.
She was full of praise for Player-Of-The-Match, Dottin, who was the only one who was able to break the shackles and play freely on the slow pitch.
The Windies were undermined by 17-year-old fast bowler Holly Ferling, who helped wipe out the top order with three for 27, and fellow seamer Megan Schutt, who finished with three for 50.
Already with a loss to Australia in the warm-up fixtures, West Indies started tentatively and lost wickets at regular intervals to slip to 36 for three in the 11th over, despite Natasha McClean’s brisk 26 from 34 balls. They then lost the prolific pair of Taylor (5) and Kyshona Knight (8) in quick succession to further slide to 59 for five in the 19th over.
Dottin and Aguilleira (7) added 27 for the sixth wicket, the first meaningful partnership of the game but Aguilleira and Daley then fell within 11 balls of each other with six runs added, to reduce the Windies to 92 for seven. However, Dottin and Quintyne combined to give their side a fighting chance.
West Indies started their defence strongly when Daley knocked over Meg Lanning without scoring in the second over with the score on one.
Two critical partnerships then lifted the Aussies. Alex Blackwell (45) and Jess Cameron (39) put on 47 for the third wicket before Blackwell added a further 41 for the fifth wicket with captain Jodie Fields (18).
With an Australian victory in sight, Taylor trapped Blackwell lbw in the 39th over and fast bowler Tremayne Smartt accounted for Fields in the next over, with no runs added at 130 for six.
When Julie Hunter was run out without scoring eight balls later to leave Australia on 131 for seven, West Indies knew they were in with a sniff and Taylor struck again to seal the finals spot. (CMC)