MUMBAI: It was fourth time lucky for the West Indian women’s team as they beat New Zealand by six runs in the second semifinal of the World T20 to set up a final clash against Australia. Playing at Wankhede Stadium, ahead of the star-studded clash between their men’s team and hosts India, the West Indies advanced amidst little fanfare but much flair.
Leading the brigade was Britney Cooper who scored 61 off 48 deliveries to help the West Indies to 143 for six. Left to score 19 runs off the last over, New Zealand, who had won all their group stage matches, were done at 137 for eight. Having lost three successive semifinals on the world stage, the West Indies were desperate to break through that hurdle.
“We have usually played Australia in the semifinals, but this time it will be a little different,” said West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor, whose bowling was one of the key reasons for the West Indian girls coming through. She not only restricted the New Zealand batswomen, giving away only 26 runs in her four overs, but also got three wickets including those of Sara McGlashan (38) and Amy Sattherthwaite (24) off consecutive balls. The West Indies women also shone on the field, with Deandra Dottin’s direct hit to run out Sophie Devine (22) highlighting the show.
The contest was, however, set up by the big-hitting of Britney. Promoted to No 3 in the batting order, Britney took the game to the Kiwis, smashing five fours and two sixes during her hour-long stay. Her effort neutralised the threat of possibly the best spin combination in the women’s event — Leigh Kasperek and leg-spinner Erin Bermingham. The team also found support, on social media, from men’s skipper Darren Sammy. Despite a high-profile clash against India on the cards, he cheered for the women enthusiastically.
West Indies: 143/6 in 20 overs (Britney 61, Stafanie 25; Sophie 4-22) bt New Zealand: 137/8 in 20 overs (Sara 38, Amy 24; Stafanie 3-26).