Dottin hurricane gets Windies off the mark
West Indies Women 175 for 5 (Dottin 112*) beat South Africa Women 158 for 4 (Fritz 58, Britz 43) by 17 runs
Deandra Dottin became the first woman to score a Twenty20 century, as her whirlwind unbeaten 112 off 45 balls helped West Indies open their account in the ICC World Twenty20 at Warner Park. The most incredible feature of Dottin's innings was that she came in to bat in the tenth over, and yet managed to reach three figures off just 38 balls; her second fifty came off just 13. The record for the fastest century in men's cricket is 50 balls - Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum are joint-best - but Dottin was even more ruthless. She smashed nine sixes and seven fours in her knock, which was a match-turning one because West Indies were scratchy at 52 for 4 when she walked in.
South Africa held the early advantage after winning the toss, dismissing the openers within the first two overs. Charlize van der Westhuizen and Chloe Tyron got the early wickets and restricted West Indies to a run rate of not more than six within the first ten overs on the small ground.
But Dottin changed the complexion of the game once she came in at the fall of Britney Cooper's wicket. She hit three sixes and four fours to get to a half-century, off 25 balls. She needed just 13 balls to score her second fifty, which featured an additional six sixes. Coincidentally, she matched the feat of West Indian Chris Gayle, who opened the 2007 World T20 with the first ever international T20 century, also against South Africa. Only this time, the South Africans didn't win.
South Africa made steady progress towards the target of 176 when Shandre Fritz and Cri-Zelda Brits added 84 for the second wicket, off 10.4 overs. Fritz reached her fifty, of 48 balls, and the pair were at the crease till the 16th over before two run-outs got West Indies firmly back in the game. Both were dismissed within three balls and the rest failed to match the asking rate.
"It feels really good to be the first woman to make a century in Twenty20 cricket and this record and win mean a lot," Dottin said of her achievement. "I am happy I did it for the team when we needed it most. People have been telling us that teams like Pakistan and Australia are two of the favourites to win. However, today we proved that we are here to win the cup in the Caribbean.
"After we lost two quick wickets, the plan was that Shanel (Daley) and I would pick up singles and hit every bad ball. However, when I saw that the overs were slipping away from us I decided to go after everything, it was either do or die. I knew that the team needed me and I just kept me eyes on the ball, played with some patience and played straight. I also knew that we could defend a high total".