SAv West Indies, women's World Cup, Group B, Newcastle March 8, 2009

West Indies win crucial group game

Cricinfo staff

West Indies 117 for 8 (Daley 26) beat South Africa 116 (Smith 46, Taylor 4-17) by two wickets

Stafanie Taylor picked up 4 for 17 © Getty Images

West Indies have nearly sealed their place in the Super Six after beating South Africa by two wickets in a close opening game in Newcastle. Unless South Africa can contrive to beat Australia, it is unlikely they will make it to the next round and will have to be content with play-offs that follow the group stage.

Seventeen-year old Stafanie Taylor starred with the ball, taking 4 for 17 with her offbreaks to restrict South Africa to 116. South Africa had begun positively with their openers Alicia Smith and Trisha Chetty adding 37 together before Debbie-Ann Lewis dismissed Chetty for 17. Two more wickets fell in quick succession but Smith hung on. Her 109-ball innings included four fours. She finally departed in the 39th over - run out by Deandra Dottin. South Africa's innings simply imploded after that and the last six wickets fell for nine runs. Three wickets fell in one over - Taylor trapped Susan Benade (8) leg before and had Shandre Fritz (18) caught before Kirbyina Alexander ran out Sunette Loubser (1) off the last ball of the over. Taylor took two more in her next two overs.

West Indies' chase began poorly. Halfway through the eighth over their openers had returned to the pavilion with only 16 on the board. Fritz ran out Taylor (9) in the sixth over before Charlize van der Westhuizen had Dottin (7) caught by Benade in the next. Shanely Daley and Afy Fletcher dug in after that - adding 45 in 22.1 overs at just over two runs an over. After their departure Stacy-Ann King and Cordel Jack hung on to add 38 more in 12 overs. West Indies had the luxury of playing out so many dot balls since the target was paltry. It is unlikely they'll get to do the same in their next two group games - against Australia and New Zealand.