'Windies confidence lifted ahead of World Cup final'

Mumbai, (IANS): West Indies women’s cricket coach Sherwin Campbell says beating Australia has lifted the players’ confidence ahead of their first World Cup final on Sunday.

The West Indies top the table with eight points and a net run-rate better than Australia after beating them by eight runs to conclude the super six stage with a one hundred percent record after three matches.

The Caribbean side had earlier beaten South Africa and New Zealand in their Super Six Fixtures but Campbell says the last win against Australia motivated the players going into the grand finale.

“Mentally it’s good for us,” Campbell said.

“We will take the positives from this game into the finals and it gives the players confidence and self-belief that they can beat a top team. And that’s half the job done.”

Five-time champions Australia had been unbeaten in the tournament before playing the West Indies who were not considered among the strongest teams before the World Cup began two weeks ago.

Campbell was delighted at the thought of playing the final on Sunday and happy with the team’s effort after they were restricted to 164.

The West Indies staged a remarkable comeback by bowling out Australia for 156 after the Aussies restricted them to 164.

“It’s always a good feeling to play in any final,” Campbell said.

“We worked hard to get here and I always tell the players that you’ve got to believe in your ability and work hard. If you have the right attitude, you can beat any team. It makes us recognised in ICC tournaments, which is excellent for the team.”

The former Windies cricketer who played 90 ODIs says that after the men’s team won the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in October, a victory for the women’s team Sunday will add to the list of positives for the region.

And he is hoping more girls in the Caribbean will be encouraged to play the sport.

“I don’t think women’s cricket gets enough mileage (in the Caribbean) so it’s good that this World Cup is shown on television and shown all over Caribbean. We were on television during the T20 semi-finals and now we are in the finals,” said Campbell.

“So it is good that we are being televised and people in Caribbean and all over the world can see that West Indies women can play good cricket as well as the other teams. And hopefully that will encourage more children in the Caribbean to learn cricket.”

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