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May 24, 2009
West Indies women may not have had a great World Cup in Australia, winning two of their seven games and finishing fifth, but their captain Merissa Aguilleira is confident of a much-improved performance in the upcoming women's World Twenty20 in England.
"Before we went to Australia I think we didn't have enough games and enough practice matches," she told Trinidad and Tobago television station CCN TV6 on Tuesday. "I think we got that here, so we're confident that we'll go through."
Aguilleira also lauded the West Indies coach, former Test and ODI batsman Sherwin Campbell, for the manner in which he has groomed the team. "[Sherwin] Campbell is a really good coach," she said. "He is really persistent in what he wants us to do out there, we work hard. I think we're gonna give him a shocker this time."
West Indies are in the same group as South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and the tournament kicks off on June 11 at Taunton where they take on South Africa. "We're looking at (defeating) South Africa and Australia, because we have to beat two teams to advance to the second round, so I'm really focussing on South Africa and Australia," Aguilleira said. "We're just making sure we get past the first stage first."
West Indies also have the backing of former captain Stephanie Power, who led the team in 2005 World Cup. "I think they will do better than they did in the World Cup," Power told the Trinidad and Tobago Express. "Because I'm sure when they went back to their individual countries, they were working on their shortcomings. So (coach) Sherwin (Campbell) will just have to fine tune.
"They did exceptionally well in the bowling. Only the batting let them down," Power said. "In Twenty20, it is all about runs. Wickets are a bonus."
The batting, Power believes, will be boosted by the inclusion of Juliana Nero, who has played 43 ODIs, averaging 17.66 with two half-centuries. "She (Juliana) was ranked fourth in batting in the (2005) World Cup. I expect her and Pamela Lavine, Deandra Dottin, Stacy Ann King, Anisa Mohammed, if it comes down to her (to make the runs). In the last World Cup she (Anisa) was batting 10, 11."
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