BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – An irrepressible West Indies side strode gallantly into the semi-finals of the Women’s World Twenty20 Championship when they pulled off a dramatic last-over win over England yesterday to send the title-holders crashing from the tournament.
After posting a disappointing 122 for eight from their 20 overs, they produced a sterling bowling effort to amazingly restrict a strong English batting unit to 120 for nine, to snatch an exciting two-run victory at Warner Park.
The hosts were led by a superb spell from off-spinner Anisa Mohammed who grabbed two for nine in four stingy overs, while 17-year-old medium pacer Shemaine Campbelle supported with a brilliant four-over spell of two for 15.
With the pendulum swinging back and forth during the close contest, the game came down to the last over with England needing 15 runs to avoid elimination from the tournament they won last year before their home crowd.
Lydia Greenway, who finished unbeaten on 26 from 28 balls, blasted the first ball from off-spinner Stafanie Taylor straight back overhead for six to raise England’s hopes of a win.
She punched the second ball to cover for two and took a single from the third ball to leave her side needing six from the last three deliveries.
Katherine Brunt was kept scoreless by Taylor off the fourth ball before scrambling two runs from the penultimate delivery of the match, leaving four to get off the last ball.
She smashed Taylor to deep long off and sprinted a single but in attempting a second run, was run out by a strong throw from Juliana Nero as the Windies sealed a crucial win.
England had appeared set to complete an easy win when openers Sarah Taylor and captain Charlotte Edwards posted 65 from 55 balls for the first wicket.
Taylor stroked 33 from 26 balls with three fours and a six while Edwards got a run-a-ball 31 with four fours.
Mohammed then turned the game on its head when she removed both openers in successive deliveries, sparking a slide that saw England lose 10 wickets for 55 runs in a stunning collapse.
Medium pacer Deandra Dottin, who removed the dangerous pair of Beth Morgan (1) and Jenny Gunn (0) with successive deliveries in the 10th over, claimed two for 31 while Taylor finished with two for 37.
Earlier, the Windies women batting fizzled after they were sent in and only opener Nero showed any defiance with 32 from 38 balls.
They lost Cordel Jack cheaply for four with the score on 11 in the fourth over before Nero and Taylor (18) added 45 for the second wicket.
Off-spinner Laura Marsh accounted for both in the 11th over, triggering a collapse that saw four wickets tumble for 22 runs in the space of 19 balls, before Britney Cooper (20) and Shanel Daley (14) attacked to add 30 from 18 balls for the sixth wicket.
When they fell in successive deliveries to fast bowler Gunn in the 18th over to leave the score at 108 for seven, the tail eked out precious runs which proved to be decisive in the end.