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Stafanie Taylor

‘There is a score to settle’ – Stafanie Taylor

WI v SA, news

Stafanie Taylor, the Windies captain, expects the comforts of home to help her team in the three ICC Women’s Championship one-day internationals against South Africa.

Back at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, South Africa bowled the Windies out for 48 before sealing a 10-wicket win. Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk first picked up four wickets each, and Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee then knocked off the runs in just 6.2 overs.

South Africa won the 2017 World Cup game against the Windies by 10 wickets
South Africa won the 2017 World Cup game against the Windies by 10 wickets

The result still rankles Taylor. “Yeah, there is a score to settle,” she said ahead of the first ODI of the latest series, to be played in Bridgetown on Sunday, 16 September.

“South Africa, they have been evolving, they have improved over the last few years and are still improving. They have some changes to their team, young girls who look good as well.

“I think it’s basically adapting; playing at home, we should play better than the South African team. It’s not going to be an easy series. The last time we met South Africa, they had the upper hand. But that is all in the past. We want to push forward, control what we can, which is the first game.”

The Windies are at No.5 and South Africa one spot below in the MRF Tyres Women’s Team Rankings – both need good results to ensure direct qualification for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021.

“The team is in a very good space at the moment,” Lee, No.2 behind Australia’s Ellyse Perry in the ODI batters’ rankings, said ahead of the first game. “We’ve had a few hot days at training so I think we’ve gotten quite used to the conditions by now. We had a warm-up game, the wicket was quite low and slow and the ball spun after a little bit but we quickly got used to it. We’re just excited to get started now.”

Lee, like Taylor, was a part of the Women’s Cricket Super League recently – Taylor had a moderate time with the bat as her team Western Storm got into the play-offs before losing to Lee’s Surrey Stars, and Lee, while not too consistent, did have a few good outings, the best of them in the final, when she scored 104 in 58 balls as Stars won the tournament by beating Loughborough Lightning.

“I’ve really been looking forward to this tour, it’s actually my first time in the Caribbean and I’m feeling in good form at this moment,” Lee said. “Cricket’s a funny game though, you never know what’s going to happen so I’m looking to capitalise on my form now while the going is really good.”

The change in conditions shouldn’t affect her or her teammates much, Lee feels: “I don’t think we have that much of a problem playing spin. We’ve had a few tours in the subcontinent where we actually did pretty well so I don’t think our worry is about the spin, it’s just more about sticking to our basics and executing what we want to execute.”

As for Taylor, it’s back to being a part of the national team set-up after a fairly long time out even as most of her Windies teammates were sweating it out in training.

“It’s good to be back and be a part of the team. They’ve been working really hard in the camp for the last four months and I could see good preparation,” said Taylor, the Windies’ talismanic all-rounder and their highest-ranked batter and bowler.

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