WINDIES GIRLS BEAT SRI LANKA TO ADVANCE TO SATURDAYFriday 25th November 2011
– West Indies won their fifth match in a row, easily defeating Sri Lanka by 58 runs on Thursday, to reach the final of the International Cricket Council’s Women’s World Cup 2013 qualification tournament.
In another awesome display the girls from the Caribbean made a challenging 235-5 off their 50 overs in the semi-final at the Khanshaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah. The Sri Lankans were never really in the hunt and fell short on 177-7 off their 50 overs.
The West Indies will now play Pakistan in the Final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday. The winners will claim fifth spot in the ICC Women’s One-Day International Team Rankings. The Pakistanis reached the Final with a surprise three-wicket victory over the previously unbeaten South Africa.
Batting first on a good surface after winning the toss, West Indies took their time to get into the swing of things with Stafanie Taylor, captain Merissa Aguilleira and top-scorer Deandra Dottin all making half-centuries.
Taylor, the ICC Women’s Cricket-of-the-Year, made a well-constructed 58 off 99 balls with six boundaries – the 11th half-century of his career. Dottin, one of the leading power-hitters in the women’s game, cracked seven fours and two sixes in a perfectly timed 73 off 86 balls. It was her best score in ODIs for West Indies and earned her the Player-of-the-Match award.
Aguilleira in her second knock of the tournament proved to be the perfect finisher as she hit four boundaries and a six in a run-a-ball 52 not out – her second half-century in her 40th One-Day International.
Speaking after the match, Coach Sherwin Campbell was pleased with the result and that fact that his players again showed more improvement.
“More and more we are seeing players coming to the fore and this is great. Before, it was one of two players who would do most of the work and others would chip in and make vital contributions, but now others are stepping up to the plate and performing and winning matches for us with both bat and ball,” the former West Indies vice captain said.
”Taylor is the leading player in the world and again she was a good example as she led from the front. Deandra played very well today. It was an innings of great maturity. We were under a little bit of pressure early. She recognised that as one of the main players in the team she had to make a major contribution and it was quite clear she decided to spend time at the crease and enjoy her innings.”
The 20-year-old Dottin shared two crucial partnerships. She added 68 for the third wicket with the in-form Taylor and then posted 70 off 11 overs with the livewire Aguilleira. Campbell was also full of praise for the captain, who gave the innings a late push as 41 runs came in the last five overs.
“The captain did not get many chances to bat earlier and today she took her chance and played very well. She batted positively and when she needed to increase the run rate she stepped up.”
Looking ahead to the Final Campbell noted: “We beat Pakistan quite easily in the preliminary but we won’t be taking anything for granted in the final. We don’t want a slip-up at this late stage. We came here to win six games and we have won five so far. I will caution the girls against celebrating too early. We still have a job to do. There is a trophy to win for West Indies cricket.”
Earlier on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s batters were always going to find it a tough task to chase down the target of 236 in 50 overs. Opener Chamani Atthappathu topscored with 47 but the rest of the side failed to spark. Anisa Mohammed’s off-spin proved key once again for the West Indies. She claimed 3-29 and also made the important run-out of opener Yashoda Mendis.
The West Indies will have a full training session on Friday morning as they prepare for the Final.
Click here for all News and Specials for Cricket West Indies