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Windies Women fired up

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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MUMBAI – An upbeat West Indies Women will attempt to defy the odds again when they face five-time champions Australia in the day/night final of the ICC Women’s World Cup today.
After starting the tournament as rank outsiders, the Caribbean girls have torn up the form books en route to the championship decider, and now stand on the verge of an historic win.
The first-time finalists will enter the game on a high after shocking the Aussies in the their final Super Six game on Wednesday, and captain Merissa Aguilleira believes that victory has given the Caribbean women a psychological edge heading into the game at Brabourne Stadium.
“We are pumped, we’re ready. We’re just here waiting for the final hour to arrive,” she said yesterday.
“This is a really big moment for women’s cricket and not just women’s cricket but West Indies cricket, so I guess it is something that we’re looking forward to and we just want to grab the opportunity and make the best use of it.
“[The Super Six win over Australia] has done a lot [for the team’s confidence]. I think we have the psychological advantage over them now so we’re going into this game having an upper hand on them so it’s a lot about using the advantage.
“We don’t want to underestimate them because we know they’re a good team, so we just have to stick to the basics, enjoy our cricket and have some fun.”
West Indies have had a tough time against Australia in recent years and Wednesday’s triumph represented the first time they have beaten them in ODIs.
In last October’s World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, they lost to Australia in the semi-finals and late last month, lost their only official warm-up for the World Cup by 135 runs to the Aussies.
However, Aguilleira said while they were well aware of Australia’s strengths, they would not be intimidated and planned to take a positive approach.
“I think it is all about applying yourself and going out there and putting down your head and doing what you have to do,” she explained.
“So yes, they create a good threat because they are a good team all-round but we can’t just go out there and think that they are a cut above us; we have to go and prove our point as well.”
Admittedly, the Windies have struggled in the batting department this series and their only one bright spot came against Sri Lanka when they piled up a record 368 for eight.
They will look to prolific opener Stafanie Taylor, who is their leading scorer with 301 runs and the pugnacious Deandra Dottin, who has 204 runs, for stability in this area.
Dottin has been her side’s leading bowler with nine wickets, making key strikes at critical times with her medium pace but much will depend on left-arm spinner Shanel Daley (seven wickets), Taylor’s off-spin and the pace of Tremayne Smartt. (CMC)

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