The West Indies Women made their intention to defend their title crystal clear with an impressive 31-run victory over the Proteas Women at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground to go top of Group B in the ICC Women’s World T20, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
After winning the toss and electing to field, Proteas pacer Shabnim Ismail was on fire once again as she dismissed the Windies’ destructive top three of Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor within four overs to reduce the hosts to 24-3 in the powerplay.
Fellow opening pacer Marizanne Kapp was unlucky to be denied a wicket by a contentious call from the TV umpire. The Proteas reviewed the on-field decision that Shemaine Campbelle had not nicked the ball to the keeper but replays clearly confirmed the ball hit the bat. However, without having received a soft signal from the square-leg umpire prior to the review, the TV umpire judged the ball to have just fallen short on a close call, resulting in the unhappy South African Women losing their review for the innings.
The West Indies Women lost wickets regularly throughout the first half of their innings and were struggling on 29-4 in the eighth over before Natasha McLean (28 off 24 balls, three fours) and wicketkeeper-batter Kycia Knight came together for the fifth wicket to post a defiant 45-run stand.
Knight stepped on the accelerator towards the end of the innings but Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk (3-0-8-2) took matters into her own hands and returned to the attack to dismiss the Barbadian for 32 off 36 balls (two fours, two sixes).
Ismail returned to the attack and showed her class at the death, conceding just five runs in the final over to restrict the Windies to 107-7 off their 20 overs.
South Africa started superbly and were looking on course for the win at 48-1 in the 11th over, with Kapp and Lizelle Lee having added 31 for the second wicket.
Inspired bowling and fielding from the Windies saw the Proteas crumble in the second half of their innings, losing their last nine wickets for 28 runs as they were bowled out for just 76 runs from 18.4 overs. Kapp’s 26 off 34 balls (two fours) was the innings’ top score, followed by Lee’s 24 off 34 balls (one four, one six).
The late flurry for runs at the end of the innings saw five Proteas wickets tumble in the space of 12 balls for just one run, with the last two balls both yielding run-outs to close the Proteas innings.
Windies captain Taylor was at the forefront of the home team’s dominance as she picked up 4-12 in her 3.4 (3.27) overs to earn her both the win and the Player of the Match accolade. Shamilia Connell (1-9, 2.25) and Chinelle Henry (0-9, econ 3.00) were also impressive with the ball.
The Proteas face the England Women on Friday and will need a win to retain hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals, while the West Indies will take on Sri Lanka on Saturday with the hopes of sealing qualification for the next round after two wins from two.
|West Indies Women||2||2||0||0||0||4||2.28|
|Sri Lanka Women||3||1||1||0||1||3||0.38|
|South Africa Women||2||1||1||0||0||2||-0.53|
Photo: Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images