Windies seek critical win in skipper’s landmark ODI

TAUNTON, England, CMC – West Indies Women are hoping to mark captain Stafanie Taylor’s 100th One-Day International with a win, when they take on India Women in a critical fixture in the ICC Women’s World Cup here yesterday.

The outstanding player is poised to reach the milestone once she suits up for the contest at County Ground but emphasised the importance of the outcome, as the Caribbean side go in search of their first win of the showpiece.

“I didn’t actually remember until my media manager actually said it to me this morning that tomorrow would be [my] 100th ODI game,” Taylor told a media conference here yesterday.

“I’m pleased to be here and and to know that the 100th [ODI] is actually in a World Cup so hopefully in the end we come out victorious.”

She continued: “The fact is I wasn’t even thinking about it … it was far from my mind. Tomorrow is a big game. India would have had confidence coming into tomorrow’s game but the past is the past and tomorrow we just taking everything in stride.”

Taylor’s career took flight nine years ago as a 17-year-old and she has since blossomed into the West Indies’ leading batsman and one of the world’s finest.

She assumed leadership of the squad nearly two years ago and presided over their capture of the Twenty20 World Cup last year.

However, her personal milestone coincides with a crisis of sorts in the squad as they find themselves in a losing slump and in need of a victory to revive confidence.

Last Monday, they were dominated by reigning champions Australia in an eight-wicket defeat in what was their opening match of the World Cup.

That came on the heels of losses in the two official warm-ups last week and three practice matches prior – including a hastily arranged fixture against India.

Despite the disappointing performance against the Aussies, Taylor said her side had analysed their performance and backed themselves to give an improved showing.

“We are confident. We’ve looked at the footage and seen where we went wrong, written down what we needed to write down, thrown it in the trash and [will be coming] out fresh for tomorrow’s game,” she pointed out.

“Tomorrow is a crucial game and as a team, we know how crucial it is. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves – not focussing on the end result and trying to focus on the process.”

West Indies are one from bottom of the eight-team standings led by New Zealand Women on three points with England also on three points but second by virtue of an inferior net run rate.

Taylor said her side were anxious to hit their winning stride and were happy their first game was now behind them.

“I would rather lose a first game than at the back end where you know you need it the most,” she noted. “The last game was an example for us to move forward.”

SQUADS:

INDIA – Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Nuzhat Parween, Shikha Pandey, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma, Poonam Yadav.

WEST INDIES – Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman, Felicia Walters.

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