Women's World Cup 2013

West Indies buoyant after seeing off 'top teams'

Vishal Dikshit

February 14, 2013

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

Stafanie Taylor drives through the off side, New Zealand v West Indies, Super Six match, Women's World Cup 2013, Mumbai,  February 11, 2013
Twenty-one-year-old Stafanie Taylor has been one of West Indies' match-winners © ICC/Solaris Images
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Women's World Cup
Teams: West Indies

West Indies, unlike England and New Zealand, had their destiny in their own hands. Two points ahead of the last World Cup's finalists before yesterday's matches started, West Indies did not have to rely on another team's result or keep an eye on two scoreboards at a time. And now, at the conclusion of the Super Six stage, they sit at the top of the table with eight points and a net run-rate better than Australia's.

West Indies coach Sherwin Campbell, who played 90 ODIs, believes that beating Australia gave the players a lot of confidence and motivation before their first World Cup final.

"Mentally it's good for us," Campbell told ESPNcricinfo. "We will take the positives from this game into the finals and it gives the players confidence and self-belief that they can beat a top team. And that's half the job done."

Five-time champions Australia had been unbeaten in the tournament and West Indies were not considered one of the strongest teams before the World Cup began two weeks ago. Campbell was delighted at the thought of playing the final on Sunday and happy with the team's effort after they were restricted to 164. "It's always a good feeling to play in any final," Campbell said. "We worked hard to get here and I always tell the players that you've got to believe in your ability and work hard. If you have the right attitude, you can beat any team. It makes us recognised in ICC tournaments, which is excellent for the team."

That they had to beat Australia, who they had never beaten before in ODIs, to qualify for the final was not going to be easy as Australia had won five matches in a row, but West Indies just wanted to win all their matches, no matter who the opposition. "We haven't played them often enough. We knew that we had to win every game in the Super Sixes to get to the final so that was our intention from the beginning."

England and New Zealand were also in contention for a spot in the finals before yesterday's matches and all the focus was on their match as Australia were favourites to beat West Indies, especially after restricting dismissing them for 164. "Obviously I expected that because England, New Zealand, Australia have been the consistent teams for the last couple of years," Campbell said. "We have improved every year though and once we play enough cricket against these top teams, we can really compete. It was excellent to compete against the top teams to be in the finals."

West Indies beat South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in their Super Six fixtures to advance to the finals. Their match-winners in the World Cup have been two 21-year-olds, Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin. While Taylor is the second-highest run-scorer averaging 51.50, Dottin has made 204 runs at a strike rate of 136 and is their leading wicket-taker with nine wickets.

"Teams are always looking at younger players who have talent and have more time, and learn from the games they play and the experience they get. We had a lot of games over the last two years against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. You learn from each series. You learn and improve from each situation and that's what helped a lot of them and we got better with every game and situation."

Dottin was recognised after she broke the record for the fastest hundred in Twenty20s (men or women) against South Africa in 2010. Being a middle-order batsman, she also has to rescue her team at times, like yesterday when they were 59 for 5 and Dottin walked out. But never has she been told to not play her natural game or not attack from the first ball. "Deandra has to definitely play her natural game. You can't change someone because of a certain situation. You have to play your natural game but in a more sensible way with your shot selection and stuff. But you must have the same mentality going into the match because that's your game and you can't change that."

Campbell thinks this performance, and his team's showing in the T20 World Cup in October, may encourage more girls in the Caribbean to opt for cricket. "I don't think women's cricket gets enough mileage [in the Caribbean] so it's good that this World Cup is shown on television and shown all over Caribbean. We were on television during the T20 semi-finals and now we are in the finals. So it is good that we are being televised and people in Caribbean and all over the world can see that West Indies women can play good cricket as well as the other teams. And hopefully that will encourage more children in the Caribbean to learn cricket."

He was also cheerful about the fact that West Indies cricket, for men and women, has been doing well recently. After the men's team won the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in October, a victory for the women's team on Sunday will add to the list of positives for the region. "This shows that cricket in the Caribbean is developing and is getting better. It's well organised and everyone is focused on doing the right things."

Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Just keep your heads up high, lead from the front Girls and play your natural game.The trophy will be your's also remember to follow the game plan in order that lightening can strike twice.

Posted by adkum on (February 15, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

Congrats ladies. Good luck and go for it in the finals. Perhaps Sherwin should be brought over to coach the men. notice he did not tell Dotin how to bat while Gibson has reportedly been telling the boys how to bat even though he was a specialist bowler and not a batter. He should learn from this and let the boys perform to their potential.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

WI women definitely on the rise and have played excellent cricket to get this stage. Big win against Aussies to get to the final. However, this Aussie team, in-spite of that loss, is still the team to beat. It will take an extraordinary effort for WI to repeat that result. Taylor and Dottin have got to fire for WI to have a chance. Plus the bowling needs to be tight and the fielding has to be top-notch. However, I believe the girls can do it!!! Best of luck WI, bring home the cup!!!

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

Go windies .....believe you can and you will............

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

For the sake of faster resurgence of cricket in West Indies (a country whose teams had been giving more joy than any other team for decades, except during the immediate past one), I hope and wis, they win this World cup. Good Luck, girls!

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Aus Women won by 114 runs
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