"We are in it, to win it!" The words of West Indian Stephanie Taylor leading into the match and the skipper herself turned in a fine all round performance to land the West Indies women into the finals of the ICC Women's World T20, at the expense of New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday.
It is the first time the West Indies Women have reached the final, having previously gone out at the semi-final stage of the last three T20 World Cups. The Caribbean girls made no mistake this time around, rattling up a challenging 143 for six off their 20 overs and then bowling well to restrict the Kiwis to 137 for eight.
Taylor cracked an aggressive 25 and followed up with a double strike just when New Zealand were looking to run away with the game, to hand her side victory by six runs and a place in the finals for the first time in four attempts at the semi-finals. In the end she finished with three for 26.
Player of the match Britney Cooper was brilliant on the day, scoring an excellent 61 and while she batted, the West Indies looked as if they would get beyond the 150-run mark but the Kiwis came back at the fall of her wicket. Cooper's 61 came of 48 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Also among the runs were Deandra Dottin 25, Hayley Matthews 16 and Merissa Aguilleira 15 not out of 10 balls. Left to chase 144 runs at a run rate of 7.2, the Kiwis slipped to 49 for three.
However Sara McGlashan and Amy Satterthwaite added 59 runs for the fourth wicket and New Zealand seemed on course for victory. Taylor took matters into her own hands and dismissed both of them of successive deliveries to turn the match the West Indies way.
McGalshan, the big hitter was the main threat for the West Indies, and when she went the game was as good as over.She counted 38 of 30 balls with two fours, while Satterthwaite made 24 of 29 balls with a solitary four. The West Indies will now move on to Kolkata where they meet Australia in the finals on Sunday.
Speaking after the match, Taylor said the West Indies men's team were behind them all the way. "When I got up in the morning, the West Indies captain Darren Sammy called me to wish me all the best and told me that the boys were right behind us. We have won and now we will stay at the ground to support them. I also got a lot of text messages from the other West Indies players and basically they were telling me that I had to bat long for us to win.
WI vs NZ
H Matthews lbw Nielsen 16
S Taylor c Perkins b Devine 25
B Cooper c Priest b Devine 61
D Dottin b Devine 20
S King c Satterthwaite b Devine 4
M Aguilleira not out 15
S Campbelle run out 0
Extras w2 2
Total for 6 wkts 143
Fall of wkts: 18, 78, 122, 125, 140, 143.
Bowling: M Nielson 4-0-14-1, L Tahuhu 2-0-21-0, M Kasperek 3-0-30-0, E Bermingham 3-0-24-0, S Bates 2-0-21-0, A Satterthwaite 2-0-11-0.
S Bates c Quintyne b Fletcher 12
R Priest b Connell 6
S Devine run out 22
S McGlashan c Cambelle b Taylor 38
A Satterthwaite c Campbelle b Taylor 24
K Martin not out 11
K Perkins c Dottin b Quintyne 2
L Kasperek st Ageillera b Taylor 6
E Bermingham run out 8
Extras 1lb, 6w, 1nb 8
Total for 8 wkts (20ovs) 137
Fall of wkts: 11, 42, 49,108, 108, 116, 125, 137.
Bowling: S Connell 3-0-22-1, D Dottin 4-0-29-0, H Matthews 2-018-0, A Fletcher 4-0-20-1, A Mohammed 1-0-10-0, S Taylor 4-0-26-3, S Quintyne 2-0-11-1.
West Indies won by 6 runs.
Player of the match: Britney Cooper.