BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies suffered a blow ahead of Thursday’s semi-final of the Women’s World Twenty20 Championship when they went down by nine runs to Australia yesterday.
Playing in their final match of the preliminary round at Warner Park, West Indies failed to chase down the Aussies’ 133 for seven, ending on 124 for seven and sullying their previously unbeaten record.
Their loss came despite an attractive unbeaten 58 from Stefanie Taylor who threatened to snatch the game from the Aussies with a wonderful, attacking display.
The 18-year-old right-hander faced just 54 balls and struck four fours and two sixes in a gallant attempt to keep the Windies lasses in the contest.
When the hosts slipped to 16 for two in the third over, she combined with Britney Cooper in a 46-run, third wicket stand to put the innings back on course.
The 20-year-old Cooper got 27 from 35 balls with two fours and a six before she was bowled by left-arm spinner Shelley Nitschke at 62 for three in the 11th over.
Deandra Dottin, who scored an unbeaten century in her first match of the tournament, scored her second successive first ball “duck” when she was caught at the wicket off the very next delivery, attempting to make room to play through the off-side.
Taylor then found an ally in Shanel Daley with whom she shared 42 for the next wicket but Daley was dismissed with West Indies needing 29 from 20 balls.
However, three wickets proved their undoing and it left them requiring 16 from the last over. Taylor smashed a boundary from the first ball but the flurry of runs never came and West Indies succumbed tamely.
Earlier, Australia got a top score of 28 from captain Alex Blackwell and 23 not out from Lisa Sthalekar, after they were sent by the Windies.
Nitschke struck four fours in a swift 19 from 11 balls, combining with Elyse Villani (13) in an opening stand of 31 off 21 balls, to give the Aussies a rousing start.
Daley, who finished with three for 31, trapped Nitschke lbw with her left-arm seamers and Villani went in the next over via the run out route as Australia slipped to 37 for two in the fifth over.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed claimed the first of her three wickets when she removed the dangerous Leah Poulton for 15 from 13 balls at 52 for three and the innings needed a 26-run stand between Blackwell and Jess Cameron (13) to find life again.
Mohammed continued to take wickets and keep the scoring limited but Sthalekar’s run-a-ball knock gave Australia valuable runs.