Windies women fourth time lucky


Britney Cooper dazzles with 61 to guide the team into its maiden summit clash

A jinx has been broken, and how!

The West Indies women turned in an utterly professional display to stun New Zealand by six runs at the Wankhede on Thursday afternoon.

A compact all-round show enabled Stafanie Taylor’s boisterous outfit to ward off its infamous ICC World T20 semifinal curse at the fourth time of asking. The women in Maroon will now take on the rampaging Southern Stars from Australia in Sunday’s final at the Eden.

The White Ferns from Kiwiland, like their male counterparts, won every group game but perished at the most inopportune of times. But, it was the West Indies’s day.

Promoted to No. 3, Britney Cooper smashed her way to a dazzling 61 off 48 balls (5x4, 2x6) as the West Indies posted a healthy 143 for the loss of six wickets on a dry surface.

Sara McGlashan (38, 39b, 2x4), Amy Satterthwaite (24, 29b, 1x4) and their fourth-wicket stand of 59 did worry the Windies, but the duo’s departure off successive deliveries put paid to New Zealand’s hopes.

Cooper came into this game with just 11 runs from three outings. Naturally, she was desperate to make amends on Thursday. The manner in which the busy 26-year-old right-hander from Trinidad took apart the Kiwi attack was simply awesome. Employing minimum risk, she negotiated both pace and spin with ease and ensured that the team had its nose in front after Morna Nielsen got rid of Hayley Matthews in the third over.

In a statement of intent, Cooper hit consecutive sixes off-spinner Leigh Kasperek in the 17th over. When on 48, she danced down the wicket and whacked the bowler over long-on. The very next ball, she smashed the white cherry over long-off.

Cooper stitched two crucial partnerships — 60 for the second wicket with Taylor (25, 26b, 2x4) and 44 for the next with Deandra Dottin (20, 17b, 2x4).

Kasperek, the leading wicket-taker in this edition of the tournament, went wicketless but the Kiwis couldn’t stop Sophie Devine from registering career-best figures of four for 22. Devine would contribute 22 (14b, 4x4) with the bat.

McGlashan and Satterthwaite rescued New Zealand from dire straits — 49 for three — but Taylor would bring her team back in the contest with her unique brand of ‘hopping’ off-spin to have both caught in the deep when the Kiwis needed 37 off four overs with enough wickets in hand.

New Zealand needed 30 off the last three, 25 off two and 19 off the final over. Windies sealed the match with another run-out to cap off a great day in the field.

The resulting celebrations would have put Gayle, Bravo and the rest to shame. Probably it was the ladies’ way of telling the men, “Over to you, now.”

The scores: West Indies 143 for six in 20 overs (Stafanie Taylor 25, Britney Cooper 61, Deandra Dottin 20, Sophie Devine four for 22) bt New Zealand 137 for eight in 20 overs (Sara McGlashan 38, Stafanie Taylor three for 26).

Toss: New Zealand Women.

Player-of-the-match: Britney Cooper.

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