Skipper Stafanie Taylor scored 25 and grabbed three wickets as the West Indies upset favourite New Zealand by six runs in Mumbai yesterday to make its first-ever appearance in the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.
Britney Cooper smashed a superb 61 off 48 balls to lift the West Indies to 143 for six after New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates won the toss and elected to field.
New Zealand, undefeated in the league stage and finalist in 2009 and 2010, was restricted to 137 for eight in reply at the Wankhede stadium.
The West Indies will clash with Australia, the champion side in the last three editions in 2010, 2012 and 2014, in the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon.
The tall Cooper smashed five fours and two sixes – both off consecutive deliveries from Leigh Kasperek – to lend momentum to the West Indies innings.
Cooper and Taylor put on 60 for the second wicket after opener Hayley Matthews had fallen for 16 in the third over.
The West Indies was sailing at 78 for one when the dismissal of Taylor in the 12th over triggered a meltdown that allowed New Zealand to concede just 65 runs and claim five wickets in the final eight overs.
Seamer Sophie Devine starred in the collapse with four wickets for 22 runs, while Morna Nielsen was the other successful bowler with one for 14 in her four overs.
New Zealand raced to 43 for one in reply before it lost its top two batting stars, skipper Suzie Bates and Devine, in the space of five deliveries in the seventh over.
Devine was run-out by a direct throw from Deandra Dottin for 22, while Bates drove Afy Fletcher straight to mid-off after making 12.
Sara McGlashan (38) and Amy Satterthwaite (24) retrieved the situation with a defiant stand of 59 for the fourth wicket before both batters were dismissed off successive balls by Taylor.
Reduced to 108 for five in the 17th over, New Zealand’s lower order found runs hard to come by against the tight West Indies bowling and fell seven runs short of victory.
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.”