Australia will face the West Indies for the women’s World Twenty20 title after the queens of the Caribbean beat New Zealand by six runs in their Mumbai semi-final.
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are aiming for a fourth consecutive World T20 crown and will have watched with interest as the Britney Cooper smashed the highly-fancied New Zealander attack around the ground in an entertining 61 that helped the West Indies post 6-143.
Spinner Leigh Kasperek, who has tormented Australia’s batters in recent times, was despatched for two consecutive sixes by Cooper in her 48-ball innings and leaked 30 runs in three overs.
Sophie Devine picked up four wickets for the White Ferns to finish with 4-22 from four overs but it proved too much for the White Ferns to overhaul.
New Zealand lost regular wickets with Sara McGlashan (38), Amy Satterthwaite (24) and Devine (22) the only batters to score more than 12.
Stafanie Taylor strangled the Kiwi run-chase with three wickets in the 17th and 19th overs.
However, concern for the West Indies camp was their lack of calm under pressure, with a series of errors allowing the White Ferns to stay in the hunt until the final ball.
In an eventful final over with New Zealand needing 19 runs for victory, an error-riddled effort in the field very nearly opened the door for New Zealand.
Deandra Dottin opened with a wide; a wild throw on the next ball blew a certain run-out opportunity; and a second run-out chance went begging when Katey Martin was caught short of her ground but, incredibly, there was no appeal fro the fielding side.
Another wide was followed by a simple chance dropped on the boundary for four runs by Stacy-Ann King.
Now defending 10 off the remaining three balls, Dottin found her composure to concede three singles, with Erin Bermingham runing herself out pushing for an impossible second on the final ball.
That lack of composure is something the Stars will be sure to exploit if given the opportunity in Sunday’s final, with Meg Lanning’s side showing their courage under fire to complete an against-the-odds victory against England in their Delhi semi-final on Wednesday night.
West Indies skipper Taylor was unable to conceal her delight at reaching the final.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time and it really feels great to have made the final,” the West Indies captain said, adding she was not worried at facing the formidable Southern Stars for the title.
“I do think we can win it if we are consistent enough,” she said. “We can definitely pull it off.”
Bates said her team was beaten due to a “very good performance” by the West Indies, especially Cooper who was later named player of the match.
“Credit to the West Indies for the way they came out hitting with the bat and Cooper’s innings was amazing,” the New Zealand captain said.
“It has been an outstanding tournament for us, but we were on the wrong side of a very good performance by the West Indies today.” (cricket.com)