MUMBAI, India, CMC – West Indies Women stormed into their first ever final of a Twenty20 World Cup when they outplayed New Zealand Women by six runs in the second semi-final of the 2016 edition at the Wankhede Stadium here Thursday.
Having previously gone out at the semi-final stage of the last three T20 World Cups, the Caribbean girls made no mistake this time around, rattling up a challenging 143 for six off their 20 overs and then bowling well to restrict the Kiwis to 137 for eight.
Sent in, West Indies Women were propelled by a top score of 61 from Britney Cooper, who fashioned her maiden half-century in T20s.
She faced 48 balls and counted five fours and two sixes and put on 60 for the second wicket with captain Stafanie Taylor who scored 25. Cooper added another 44 for the third wicket with Deandra Dottin who got 20.
Seamer Sophie Devine was the best bowler, producing a career-best performance of four for 22 from her four overs.
In reply, New Zealand Women were undermined by Taylor, who claimed three for 26 with her incisive off-spin while leg-spinner Afy Fletcher proved economical, conceding just 20 runs from her four overs and taking one wicket.
Sara McGlashan top-scored with 38 from 30 deliveries, Amy Satterthwaite struck 24 from 29 balls while Devine chipped in with a cameo 22 from 14 balls, to complete a solid all-round performance.
New Zealand Women were threatening victory at 108 for three in the 17th over with McGlashan and Satterthwaite involved in a 59-run, fourth run stand.
However, Taylor removed both in successive deliveries to deal the Kiwis a fatal blow and hurt their momentum as five wickets tumbled for 29 runs.
The victory set up a meeting with nemesis Australia in Sunday’s final, following the reigning champions’ five-run win over England Women in Wednesday’s first semi-final.
Chasing their first final, West Indies Women started positively with 18-year-old Hayley Matthews behind most of the early scoring with her 16 from 14 balls.
However, she perished in the third over, missing a straight delivery from left-arm spinner Morna Nielson and adjudged lbw at 18 for one.
Cooper and Taylor then took charge of the innings for West Indies Women but were steady without being explosive, and the Caribbean side reached 63 for one at the half-way mark.
The right-handed Cooper was positive from the outset, twice lifting off-spinner Leigh Kasperek over cover for boundaries in her first over, and then hitting leg-spinner Erin Bermingham to the straight boundary.
She lost Taylor in the 12th over after her skipper had struck 26 balls and counted two fours, slogging Devine to Katie Perkins at short mid-wicket.
Dottin then arrived to strike two fours in her 17-ball stay before going bowled by Devine in the 18th over, and Cooper fell three balls later in the same over, caught at the wicket.
In reply, the Kiwis lost Rachel Priest in the third over for six with the score on 11 when she missed a heave at speedster Shamilia Connell and lost her off-stump.
Devine and captain Suzie Bates (12) tried to rebuild the innings in a 32-run, second wicket stand but New Zealand lost two wickets in the seventh over to stumble to 49 for three.
Devine, who struck four fours, was run out by a brilliant direct throw by Dottin at cover point as she attempted a quick single while Bates got a leading edge off Fletcher, to be taken at mid-off.
McGlashan and Satterthwaite then came together in a stand that gave their side hope and took them past the 100-run mark in the 15th over, leaving New Zealand with 43 runs to get from 30 deliveries at a required run rate of over eight-and-a-half an over.
However, Taylor dealt the innings two crippling blows in the 17th over, getting the left-handed Satterthwaite to hole out to Shemaine Campbelle on the ropes at mid-wicket and off the next ball, having McGlashan caught at deep extra cover again by Campbelle.
WEST INDIES WOMEN 143 for six off 20 overs (Britney Cooper 61, Stafanie Taylor 25, Deandra Dottin 20; Sophie Devine 4-22)
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN 137 for eight off 20 overs (Sara McGlashan 38, Amy Satterthwaite 24, Sophie Devine 22; Stafanie Taylor 3-26)
WEST INDIES WOMEN
H Matthews lbw b Nielsen 16
*S Taylor c Perkins b Devine 25
B Cooper c wkp Priest b Devine 61
D Dottin b Devine 20
S King c Satterthwaite b Devine 4
+M Aguilleira not out 15
S Campbelle run out 0
Extras (w2) 2
TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs) 143
Did not bat: S Quintyne, A Mohammed, A Fletcher, S Connell.
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Matthews), 2-78 (Taylor), 3-122 (Dottin), 4-125 (Cooper), 5-140 (King), 6-143 (Campbelle)
Bowling: Nielsen 4-0-14-1, Tahuhu 2-0-21-0, Kasperek 3-0-30-0, Bermingham 3-0-24-0, Devine 4-0-22-4, Bates 2-0-21-0, Satterhwaite 2-0-11-0.
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN
*S Bates c Quintyne b Fletcher 12
+R Priest b Connell 6
S Devine run out 22
S McGlashan c Campbelle b Taylor 38
A Satterthwaite c Campbelle b Taylor 24
K Martin not out 11
K Perkins c Dottin b Quintyne 2
L Kasperek st wkp Aguilleira b Taylor 6
E Bermingham run out 8
Extras (lb1, w6, nb1) 8
TOTAL (8 wkts, 20 overs) 137
Did not bat: L Tahuhu, M Nielsen.
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Priest), 2-43 (Devine), 3-49 (Bates), 4-108 (Satterthwaite), 5-108 (McGlashan), 6-116 (Perkins), 7-125 (Kasperek), 8-137 (Bermingham)
Bowling: Connell 3-0-22-1 (w2), Dottin 4-0-29-0 (w4), Matthews 2-0-18-0 (nb1), Fletcher 4-0-20-1, Mohammed 1-0-10-0, Taylor 4-0-26-3, Quintyne 2-0-11-1.
Result: West Indies Women by six runs.
Series: West Indies Women advanced to final.
Player-of-the-Match: Britney Cooper.
Toss: New Zealand Women.
Umpires: R Illingworth, N Llong; TV – P Reiffel.