West Indies beat New Zealand to throw Women's World Cup wide open

England, New Zealand and West Indies capable of joining Australia in ICC Women’s World Cup final

Anisa Mohammed shone with bat and ball. West Indies secured victory over New Zealand by 48 runs in its Super Six match today at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai to keep its chances of qualifying for the ICC Women’s World Cup final alive. Batting first, West Indies finished with 207-9 off its 50 overs before its bowlers put on an all-round show to dismiss New Zealand for 159.

West Indies’ win, its second of the Super Six stage, also ensured that it will join Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup final on 17 February if it beats Jodie Fields’ side in its final Super Six match in Mumbai on Wednesday.

However, if the West Indies lose, then it will come down to net run rate between them and the winner of the match between New Zealand and defending champion England.  West Indies faces Australia at the MIG Ground on 13 February at 0900 Indian time, while New Zealand plays England in a day/night fixture at the Cricket Club of India beginning at 1430 on the same day.

After being put into bat first by New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates, West Indies lost opener Natasha McLean early - leg-before wicket to Sian Ruck. Coming in at number three, Stafanie Taylor was at her belligerent best and stroked seven boundaries in her 53-ball 49 which made her the highest scorer of the event – briefly. Later in the day Bates regained that honour in New Zealand’s innings.

Despite Taylor’s heroics, she found little support from the other end and wickets fell at regular intervals. Deandra Dottin tried to take the attack to the New Zealand bowlers as she hammered a 21-ball 27 with four fours and a six. However when she was sixth out the West Indies had managed only 117 in the 27th over.

West Indies slipped further to 159 for eight in the 44th over but Shanel Daley contributed 37 off 64 balls and Anisa Mohammed swung merrily to finish with an unbeaten 31 off 32 balls. The pair added 45 for the ninth wicket in just over six overs wickets to give West Indies a respectable total.

West Indies opening bowler Tremayne Smartt used her in-swingers to good effect to snare three top-order New Zealand wickets. Katie Perkins and Bates tried to consolidate before Perkins was run out by a brilliant throw from Dottin and when Taylor snared Nicola Browne leg before and Mohammed out-foxed Bates for a caught and bowled in the next over, New Zealand was in serious trouble at 83-6.

Rachel Priest (36) tried to hold the lower-order together but her resistance ended when she was last out as the West Indies sealed a superb win. Anisa Mohammed followed up her batting heroics with 1-13 off 8.3 overs to be awarded Player of the Match. Taylor also bowled well finishing with 2-26 off her 10 overs.

West Indies skipper Merissa Aguillera was effusive in her praise for the team. “It was a great match. I have to give credit to everyone in the team. They executed all areas of the game well and need to be complemented for that.”

Aguillera felt that when they got past 200, they could defend it. “Once we had 200 runs, we believed we could defend it. We have a good line-up of spinners – Stephanie Taylor, Shanel Daley and Anisa Mohammed. We knew we had a good score on the board the bowlers did their job perfectly to take us home.

“It was pleasing to see the other players stepped up when it mattered. Anisa Mohammed deserves a special mention. While batting, she did exactly what the team needed. We had a target in mind and we achieved it. I am really pleased with the all-round effort,” said Aguillera.

New Zealand skipper Bates was bitterly disappointed, but felt that the West Indies total was within reach on the CCI wicket. “I think on this wicket, if you have wickets in hand, even 250 could be chaseable. If we had got one big partnership, we would have got home easily But we kept losing wickets too close to each other and once that happened, the turned the pressure on us.”

Bates felt that the batters let the team down. “I am disappointed that today none of the top five stepped out and in the end it was left to Rachael Priest and it was too much for her to do alone. We haven’t batted anywhere near where we are capable of batting.  If we are to go forward and win the tournament, it is important that the batters fire.’

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