Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) A spirited West Indian side produced an all-round performance to outclass New Zealand by six runs in the second semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday to enter the final of the women’s World Twenty20 cricket tournament.
Batting first, riding on Britney Cooper’s quickfire 48-ball 61, the West Indies posted a competitive 143/6 in 20 overs.
In reply, New Zealand were never in control of the game as they lost wickets at regular intervals and could manage only 137/8 in their 20 overs.
Stafanie Taylor (3-26), Shaquana Quintyne (1-11), Afy Fletcher (1-20) and Shamilia Connell (1-22) were the pick of the bowlers for the West Indies.
The West Indies women will now take on Australia eves (who earlier defeated England in the first semi-final on Wednesday) in the summit clash of the tournament at the Eden Gardens on April 3.
Chasing a challenging target of 143, New Zealand got off to a disappointing start as West Indies pacer Shamilia Connell cleaned up opener Rachel Priest (6) in the second over.
From there on, Sophie Devine (22) and skipper Suzie Bates (12) held on by playing sensibly to help team post 42/1 in the batting powerplay.
An electrifying throw by Deandra Dottin uprooted the stumps at the non-striker’s end forcing Devine head back to the pavilion in the seventh over.
New Zealand suffered yet another blow in the same over as skipper and in-form batswoman Suzie was caught by Shaquana Quintyne off the bowling of Afy Fletcher to have the team struggling at 49/3.
Next up, two new batswomen Amy Satterthwaite and Sara McGlashan made the best use of the batting friendly wicket to notch up 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket in just 48 balls to help the team bring up 100 in 15th over.
But two wickets of Satterthwaite and McGlashan off successive balls in the 17th over proved costly for New Zealand as wickets tumbled from there on to hand over the game to the West Indies.
Earlier on, put in to bat, the West Indies got off to a modest start scoring 40 runs for the loss of one wicket in the powerplay. Hayley Matthews (16) was the only wicket they lost within the first six overs of the play.
Skipper Stafanie Taylor (25) and incoming batswoman Britney held on to bring up the 50-run partnership in just 47 balls for the second wicket and thus help the team cross the 60-run mark in the tenth over.
But as both the batswomen were looking good to take on the bowlers, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine brought the much needed breakthrough in the 12th over to end the 60-run stand for the second wicket by dismissing the in-form Stafanie.
The second wicket did not put the brakes on the scoring as Britney (61) along with new batswoman Deandra Dottin (20) played sensibly to help the team cross the 100-run mark in the 15th over and set the stage for a perfect finish.
But in the 18th over, Sophie struck twice, dismissing Dottin and Britney to have the West Indies reduced to 125/4 in the 18th over.
For New Zealand, Sophie Devine (4-22) was the pick of the bowlers.
Brief scores: West Indies Women 143/6 in 20 overs (Britney Cooper 61; Sophie Devine 4-22, Morna Nielsen 1-14) vs New Zealand Women 137/8 in 20 overs (Sara McGlashan 38; Stafanie Taylor 3-26, Shaquana Quintyne 1-11, Afy Fletcher 1-20, Shamilia Connell 1-22)
(Aritra Chowdhury can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)