Get all the tournament action on your phone and tablet


Winning final might change things for West Indies Women: Taylor

Captains point to Sophie Devine’s run-out as turning point of Women’s World T20 semifinal

31 March 2016 20:53

Even on a Wankhede Stadium pitch that has produced run-fests right through this tournament, 144 was always going to be a tough target to chase down for New Zealand Women on Thursday (March 31). But with Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates adding 32 for the second wicket in quick time, they were beautifully poised on 42 for 1 at the end of the six-over Power Play. Then came the moment that both captains agreed was pivotal to the match’s eventual outcome, a six-run win for West Indies Women.

Devine, who made 22 from 14 balls, played one to point, but failed to beat Deandra Dottin’s throw as she went in search of a single. Bates fell in the same over, and West Indies did not cede the initiative after that. “Any time Dottin gets a run-out, it’s something spectacular,” said Stafanie Taylor, West Indies’ captain. “She’s so vibrant in the field. Whenever she gets a run-out, it brings the whole flame back, and I think that really changed the game and had us back in it.”

Sophie Devine’s run-out was pretty crucial,” agreed Bates. “Dottin fielded exceptionally well and threw down the stumps. Sophie, the way she was going, could have taken the game away from West Indies. There were a few turning points. The way [Britney] Cooper batted, to get a strike-rate that high in an innings and bat deep…140 was a good score for them. There were just phases of the game where West Indies outplayed us with bat and ball.”

Cooper had made 11 runs in three previous innings in the competition, but her 48-ball 61, complete with two sixes in Leigh Kasperek’s third over, proved the difference, as West Indies made it past the semifinal stage at the fourth time of asking.

“We’ve played Australia most of the time in semifinals, and now we’re playing them in a final,” said Taylor with a smile. “They’re a good team, a tough team. But I think that if we’re consistent and play like how we played today, we definitely fancy our chances of lifting that cup.”

Bates predicted a close game at Eden Gardens. “If the West Indies turn up like they did today and their top order fire, and they field like they did, they’re going to be a good shot,” she said. “West Indies are a really dangerous Twenty20 side, and you can’t look past Australia in finals cricket. They’re peaking at the right time.”

By the time West Indies clinched victory, the men’s team had arrived at the Wankhede in preparation for its own semifinal against India. “From last night, the guys have been texting me, saying ‘All the best’, and ‘You have to bat long’,” said Taylor. “This morning, Darren Sammy messaged me to say ‘All the best today’. He would be watching. To know that they are behind us, it was good to get that support. And we’ll be here watching them.”

Taylor, as she so often does, showed the way for her team, following up a 26-ball 25 with three wickets for 26, including Amy Satterthwaite and Sara McGlashan off consecutive deliveries. With Anisa Mohammed, usually a fulcrum of West Indies’ bowling having gone for ten in her only over, it was a timely intervention.

Victory in the final, Taylor hoped, would be the catalyst for West Indies women’s cricket to become mainstream. “I don’t think it’s that popular,” she said. “If you look at Australia, they have that foundation which we’re trying to build in the West Indies. After being in the final, and I hope that we win, it might change everything in the West Indies. People will know more about females playing the game, which we want. We want girls coming out to play the game.”