KOLKATA, India, CMC – West Indies Women will approach Sunday’s final of the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup with a fearless attitude, as they seek upset Australia Women and clinch their first-ever title.
The Caribbean side copped their first berth in a final when they beat New Zealand Women by six runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last Thursday.
And with three-time defending champions Australia standing between them and history, West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor said her side had “nothing to lose” as they entered the final.
“We are very much excited. This is the first time for us. I know there are going to be some nerves around,” she told a media conference here Saturday.
“It’s the first time but we’re just going to have to embrace it. We just have to be calm and composed and just go out there and fight for it.
She added: “We’re not intimidated at all. If anything, they (Australia) should be. They have won three times. We have nothing to lose really. We just want to go out there, be positive, grasp this and win the cup for the first time.”
The Windies Women have not been entirely convincing but have dropped just one game – a last-ball thriller against England – en route to Sunday’s final.
They opened with a narrow four-run victory over Pakistan Women successfully defending 103 in Chennai, convincingly beat Bangladesh Women by 49 runs at the same venue before losing by a wicket to England Women in Dharamsala.
Unfazed, they picked themselves up and held their nerves to beat the hosts by three runs in Mohali to qualify for the final four before playing superbly to upset the in-form Kiwis.
Their success has mirrored that of their men’s side who play England in the corresponding final, and Taylor underscored the importance of both sides winning on Sunday.
“It would mean a lot. We’ve been talking about it, just hanging out with the guys. It’s been so good,” she said.
“Words can’t really explain how much it would mean for both teams. Especially for us because we’ve never been to the final before. For us to get this one would be like a dream come true.”
Taylor has been the in-form batsman with nearly 200 runs in a side where the batting has not really clicked, and Britney Cooper’s career-best 61 in the semi-final was the Windies Women’s only half-century.
However, their bowling has been penetrative with Taylor claiming eight wickets with her off-breaks and leg-spinner Afy Fletcher and medium pacer Deandra Dottin both taking seven wickets.
Regardless, Taylor said it was important West Indies Women take a cue from their opponents and take a bold approach to the final.
“What I like about the Aussies is they are fearless in everything that they do,” Taylor pointed out.
“If they go down, they go down fighting and that’s one of the things I like about them and try to instil in my girls, even from before. We just have to go out there, play our natural game and be fearless.”
AUSTRALIA WOMEN – Meg Lanning (captain), Alex Blackwell, Kristen Beams, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani.
WEST INDIES WOMEN – Stafanie Taylor (captain), Shakera Selman, Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt.