The West Indies Women joined Australia in the final of the ICC Women’s World T20 for the first time in their history thanks to Britney Cooper’s brilliant half-century.
Playing against a game New Zealand, the West Indies posted 143, their best score of the competition to date, and they needed it as well, as the Kiwi’s found themselves just six runs short in the end.
The West Indies had been to four semi-finals but have never gone on until now, and when Hayley Matthews’ aggressive 16 from 14 deliveries came to an end at the top of the innings Cooper, joined her circumspect skipper determined to give her team a chance at a total they could defend.
Cooper smashed five fours and two sixes on her way to 61 from just 48 balls.The impetus the innings gave the team was important , as nobody else found it as easy to score quickly for a sustained period of time.Taylor ended with 25 from 26 deliveries, the normally consistent Deandra Dottin chipped in with 20 from 17 deliveries, and wicketkeeper Merissa Aguileira chipped in with 15 from 10.While the total looked good enough to defend, the West Indies women were facing a batting line up that was more capable of achieving the feat than any others they had faced in the World T20s.
The Black Caps started slowly, as Shamilia Connell bowled her in the third over for six. Afy Fletcher got rid of the dangerous Suzie Bates for 12, but then New Zealand’s middle order came to the party to make the game, making the game very interesting. Batting at number four,, Sophie Devine got to 22 off 14 deliveries and looked comfortable. That was until she pushed a ball firmly between cover and extra cover with Dottin roaming at the edge of the circle. The West Indies all rounder, pulled off the run out of the tournament so far, running around, picking up the firmly struck ball and throwing in one motion, to effect the dismissal with a direct hit. That wicket, didn’t stop the New Zealand side from aggressively exploring the possibilities of a victory, as Sara McGlashan 38 from 30, and Amy Satterthwaite, 24 from 29, kept things going. That is until Taylor’s bowling made its impact on the semi final, the off spinner sending both batters back. In fact, both were caught by Shemaine Campbelle. Satterthwaite at deep midwicket, and McGlashan at deep cover. Katey Martin’s 11 not out from eight deliveries threatened to take the game from the West Indies but the constant fall of wickets meant by the final over, the game should have been over with New Zealand needing 19.
The West Indies though, showed some nerves, and there were so many errors in the over, that the game eventually ended quite close. Dottin bowled two wides in the over, there was a run out that wasn’t appealed, there was a dropped a catch and another missed run out, allowing for more drama than should have been there at that stage