Kingston—Stafanie Taylor said Jamaica had a singular focus, which kept them on track throughout the Regional Women’s Twenty20 Tournament even when tough situations confronted them. Taylor, the Jamaica captain, said her side never stopped believing in themselves and always felt they could win the RWT20. The Jamaicans were crowned champions of the inaugural RWT20, following a 16-run victory over main rivals Trinidad & Tobago in the Grand Final on Saturday at Sabina Park here. “We had to dig deep to win the Grand Final,” said Taylor. “We were struggling a bit and we needed to do something to get a respectable total on the board. “In the end, we got 101 and we knew that if we could bowl as well as we have throughout the tournament, we could bowl them out, and we did just that. We put them under pressure and won easily.” It was the second major women’s final in which the Jamaicans had toppled T&T, following their capture of the Regional Women’s Super50 Tournament last year in Barbados.
“This was a good tournament for us,” said Taylor. “We started it well and though we had a little hiccup against T&T along the way, we came back and we pulled it off in the end. I think we should feel real proud of what we have achieved. “For the last five years, we have been developing really steadily. Our coach has been working very hard with the girls, trying to get us right, and so far we have looked really good.” Taylor was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, after scoring 409 runs at an average of 81.80 and grabbing 13 wickets at 6.15 apiece. She said it was personally satisfying—but she had bigger goals in mind. “I want to stay on top of my game and remain the No.1 player in the World,” she said. “That’s very important. I’m working very hard to reclaim that spot and keep it.
“We have a trip to England and ICC World Twenty20 coming up, so there is much for which I can look forward – making some more big scores in all of these matches. She added: “In this way, it would tie into our main goal of winning a World Cup. We have been working very hard over the last few years to achieve this, so it would good if we can accomplish this. “I am going to working really hard to make sure that we achieve these goals and I am looking forward to it.” The RWT20 was the first major women’s cricket event being staged in Jamaica and Taylor said it was a thrilling experience to perform at home. “I feel very good because this is the first opportunity that many of these people have seen me play ‘live’,” she said. “People would see me and tell me they heard about me, but they wanted to see me play, and I think this opportunity has paid off.” “I have gotten a large number of well wishes from people on my Facebook page and other greetings from people who walk up to me on the street or at the matches, so I am grateful for the support.”
RWT20 top performers
Most runs: Stafanie Taylor (Jamaica) 409 runs, average 81.80
Most wickets: Shaquana Quintyne (Barbados) 15 wickets, average 7.13
Most dismissals: Merissa Aguilleira (T&T) 5 catches, 4 stumpings
Most catches: Nerissa Crafton (St. Lucia) 6 catches