Galle, Sri Lanka – West Indies made a strong statement on Wednesday when they opened their campaign in the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament with a big win over New Zealand at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.
Led by the powerful batting of Deandra Dottin, who made a superb unbeaten half-century, and the class of Stafanie Taylor, West Indies got off to a superb start as they strolled to an easy win by seven wickets against their highly-touted opponent.
The West Indies dominated from the start of the match with some good bowling and excellent fielding as New Zealand were limited to 117-9 off 20 overs. Off-spinners Anisa Mohammed and Taylor both took two wickets to wreck the New Zealand batting, while teenaged leg-spinner Shemaine Campbelle also chipped in with two wickets.
West Indies lost two wickets in the second over, but Dottin joined Taylor and they added 82 for the third wicket as they hit the ball to all parts of the ground. Dottin, who holds the records for the fastest women’s T20 century and half-century, smashed 58 not out off just 42 balls, with six fours and two sixes. Taylor, the leading allrounder in the world, made 38 off 43 balls with four boundaries.
Head Coach Sherwin Campbell said the win was the best performance he has witnessed by the team since they beat England in St Kitts just under three years go. He noted that it was a “complete effort from start to finish”.
“We wanted to make a statement from the very start of the tournament and the girls came out and did the business. Two years ago it was New Zealand who beat us in the semi-finals to end our dream of winning, so it was good that we came back and outplayed them this time around,” said Campbell.
“We won the toss and restricted them on a slow pitch. Before the match we said we would like to chase a score of around 120, and when we got them under that we knew we were in with a big chance of victory. The outfield was fast so the batters were able to get good value for their strokes.”
Campbell, the former West Indies vice captain, has been at the helm of the West Indies Women’s programme for four years and has played a key role in the development of the players. He said the most pleasing part of the match was the fact that the experienced players led from the front.
“In the batting the experienced players took responsibility. To win a match batting last in any format of the game the top five have to make the bulk of the runs, and the girls showed great maturity and control under pressure today. Taylor gave us the ideal start with a calm approach and some excellent running between the wickets – she is a class act,” the Coach said.
“Then Deandra came to the crease and did what she is capable of. She is the most powerful women in world cricket and she showed that on her day she can be very destructive. She is young and still maturing. I don’t think we have seen the best of her yet.
“I always keep reminding her of how good she is and how good she can become. She played the best T20 innings ever in St Kitts two years ago to make a hundred off 38 balls, and once we get her in that zone with that kind of mindset she is unstoppable.”
Campbell added: “The bowling was also very good and the fielding was actually beyond expectation. Anisa just keeps doing the job for us. This is best I have seen us play since we beat England a few years ago…we bowled well, we took our catches, the ground fielding was good and we backed it up with sensible batting.
“We are peaking at the right time, but we can’t relax from here. We want to win every game in this tournament and look to get better in every game.”
The West Indies will have a training session on Thursday before their second Group B match against Sri Lanka on Friday at Galle International Cricket Ground.