By Wisden India staff in Mirpur
“Sport is celebration. You may win, you may lose, but we play with the fun element that makes winning more special,” says West Indies vice-captain
"We’ve played real good cricket to reach this far in the tournament, but obviously we are aware of how things have panned out before and are keen to turn the tide this time around," said Taylor. "We are a quality team; all the players back each other. Australia may have the experience, but we’d like to believe with the firepower we have, we can topple any team."
There’s no disputing that. England, the tournament favourite, was beaten by West Indies in its first game in Sylhet. The win gave West Indies a power boost as it became the first team to qualify for the semifinals.
Taylor, who has two fifties in the tournament, felt the pitches in Sylhet and Dhaka were like chalk and cheese and the team that adapts quicker would come out trumps. "It’s a day game, so dew will be out of the picture, but the wickets in Dhaka will be a lot slower. We have an explosive batting line-up, but will need to temper our game a little bit," she said. "In the game against India too, the pitch was on the slower side unlike in our first few matches. I thought their batters made it look a lot easier than it was. On these wickets, we shouldn’t be too cautious, yet can’t aim for too big a total."
West Indies has struck the chord with the fans all over Bangladesh with its brand of spirited cricket. The team spirit and camaraderie, both with the men's and women's teams, is all too evident. Taylor said the team derived great pleasure from playing entertaining cricket.
"That’s how the people of the Caribbean are," she said. "Sport is celebration. You may win, you may lose but we play with the fun element that makes winning all the more special. That is how both our teams play. It’s good for our fans back home that they can get to watch both of us in the semifinals. Darren Sammy has been in constant touch with the women’s team, he always offers us suggestion and tips. Hopefully both of us can make it through to the final.”
The men's clash between Australia and West Indies was an intense one. James Faulkner’s jibe at West Indies resulted in a few fist pumps and over-the-top celebration. But Lanning harped on playing the game in good spirit and not getting carried away in the heat of the battle.
"It’s extremely competitive no doubt, but there’s a mutual respect for each other," she said. "We know they’re a strong bunch capable of beating anyone, so it’s best to work towards what we know we should do to win. We did watch the men's game, but I’m sure both sides will play in good spirits."
Australia is attempting a hat trick of wins at the ICC Women's World T20. It pipped New Zealand by three runs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados in 2010, and then got the better of England by four runs at the R Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka, in 2012. Quite obviously, there are heightened expectations this time around.
"All the girls are excited, but with the excitement come a few butterflies in the tummy," said Lanning, the No. 1 ranked women's T20 batter. "All of us know how huge a moment this would be for women’s cricket back home. The World Cup win was big, so this will be even bigger. Having been through the pressure situations many times before, I’m sure we’re capable of grabbing the opportunity."