Windies in need of confidence ahead of opener: Drakes

OAKHAM, England,CMC – Head coach Vasbert Drakes says the challenge for the struggling West Indies Women will be to find confidence, as they desperately search for winning form ahead of opening game of the ICC Women’s World Cup next Monday against reigning champions Australia Women.

On Thursday, the Caribbean slide plunged to their second loss of the official warm-ups and fifth defeat overall in four weeks, to be without a single win heading into the June 24 to July 23 tournament.

West Indies head coach Vasbert Drakes (left) mulls over solutions with captain Stafanie Taylor and selector Eldine Baptiste. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

“Like anything else we wanted to win the cricket game. We wanted to get into the game today. We didn’t do that from a batting perspective,” Drakes said following the four-wicket defeat.

“We didn’t put the runs on the board to be able to control the game so we’re a little disappointed in today’s effort as a batting unit.”

He continued: “I don’t think it’s a matter of turning it around, it’s just a matter of getting them to understand what it takes to build a batting innings, construct a score, put a target on the board where we can defend.

“It’s about building confidence. Certainly over the next couple of days it would be getting them to focus on playing positive cricket, playing brave cricket and also playing smart cricket.”

West Indies slumped to an embarrassing 63 all out off 23.5 overs after opting to bat first at Lime Kilns Ground. They lost their last seven wickets for three runs in the space of 49 deliveries.

In-form openers Hayley Matthews (19) and Felicia Walters (14) put on 35 for the first wicket but were two of only three players in double figures.

Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed then took two wickets as South Africa lost four wickets before reaching their target in the 19th over.

Drakes said despite the loss, there were signs West Indies had what it took to compete effectively.

“Felicia is developing nicely and Hayley so far on tour she’s been getting some starts and she knows if she carries on she’s going to put this team in a strong position,” the former West Indies player pointed out.

“Anisa bowled well today, seemed to have good control. We took some wickets there and created some pressure so it would have been interesting to see if we had a score on the board how the game would have panned out.”

With captain Stafanie Taylor sitting out the contest with a slight ankle injury, Drakes said it was important to give as many players an opportuity as possible to press their case.

“We did not play with Stafanie Taylor. We’re still looking at the combinations and giving the ladies opportunities because they haven’t played much cricket back home and obviously to get the opportunity to play cricket here going into competition I think that is a positive for us.”

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