Stafanie Taylor’s team is not out of the race for a berth in the final four yet, but face an uphill battle.
Day 13, July 6
New Zealand v West Indies, Taunton
The only teams not in action on a busy Wednesday, New Zealand and Windies, will play their latest round of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 matches in Taunton on Thursday.
Both teams have had some time to lick their wounds after losses in their previous games – New Zealand in a tightly fought five-wicket defeat to Australia and the Windies rolled over for 48 by South Africa.
New Zealand has more riding on the game in terms of progress in the tournament – a loss could severely dent its semi-final qualification chances. For the ladies from the Caribbean, the ICC World Twenty20 champions who are yet to get a win in a month in England, it is quickly becoming a matter of pride. Its chances of qualification aren’t over, but given its form and lack of confidence, it seems a big ask.
Stafanie Taylor’s team has stressed, time and over, that its problem is one of belief, that it’s just a matter of rediscovering all those reasons that make it so dangerous. That aside, Windies has had trouble settling in on a batting line-up, and was dealt crucial blows with its first-choice new-ball pair ruled out by injury. The return of Kycia Knight to the squad could see another change in the line-up, while also helping add some experience up the order.
New Zealand had the right ideas against Australia, pace off the ball working well for it. With Windies struggling against the slower bowlers, it could be more of the same strategy.
Player in focus
New Zealand – Erin Bermingham: The leg-spinner who is a police officer when she’s not a cricketer, brings a wealth of experience with her. In 33 One-Day Internationals so far, she’s picked up 43 wickets. Happily for New Zealand, she also showed good temperament with the bat against Australia, adding valuable depth the side.
Windies – Merissa Aguilleira: The Windies wicketkeeper and former captain is in line to play her 100th game. She, like many others in the team, hasn't had a great time of it, and will be eager to make an impact. “She's always focused, you'll never see her angry. She has that spiritual side to her,” said Taylor, her captain, of her experienced mate. Aguilleira fondly remembers Windies' final appearance from 2013, and hopes it will drive her team.
What they said
Katie Perkins, New Zealand batter: If we win all our games from here, there should be no issue in making the top four. With the West Indies, you’re sometimes not sure about what team’s going to turn up on the day. Now that they’ve had three losses in a row, they’re potentially more dangerous than ever, because they’ll come out with nothing to lose. We’ve got to go out there and play our best cricket, regardless of how they’re performing.
Stafanie Taylor, Windies captain: We're a bit disappointed with the last three games, but the mood is good. We've been hitting it good in the nets, so there's nothing (wrong) skills wise.
Vasbert Drakes, Windies coach: I want the players to be clear in what they want to do, be clear in their decision making, be clear in their thinking. To be in a good space. Yes, the tournament has been disappointing as a group but there is a lot of cricket left to be played. This practice session today has actually given me some hope ... you see they have been a lot more positive in the way they approach things ... that last game, we really embarrassed ourselves. We had some frank discussions and a lot came out of that. We just thought that it was important that we engage in those discussions and highlight some of the areas we need to address. The players said their bit, the management said their bit. And I think we are in a better space.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (capt), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest (wk), Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.
Windies: Stafanie Taylor (capt), Merissa Aguilleira (wk), Reniece Boyce, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Felicia Walters, Subrina Munroe, Kycia Knight.