Monday, April 22, 2024

Final blow – Windies Women fall to Aussies


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MUMBAI – Crippled by their chronic weak batting, West Indies failed in their bid to win the ICC Women’s World Cup for the first time yesterday when they went down to multiple-time champions Australia by 114 runs.
 Chasing a challenging 260 for victory in the final at Brabourne Stadium, West Indies’ batting collapsed yet again as they tumbled to a disappointing 145 all out off 43.1 overs, to end their fairytale run in the tournament.
Captain Merissa Aguilleira topscored with 23 and Deandra Dottin chipped in with 22, but the batting once again failed to shine when it was most needed and Australia clinched the title for the sixth time.
West Indies were undone by an outstanding spell from seamer Ellyse Perry who finished with three for 19 from her ten overs, while off-spinners Lisa Sthalekar and Erin Osborne along with pacer Megan Schutt all weighed in with two wickets apiece.
West Indies skipper Aguilleira blamed poor batting for the loss.
“Batting has been the downfall for us throughout this tournament,” she said. “We went out there and we didn’t execute well. That was one of the areas we had to perform today and we couldn’t manage that as planned.”  
Aguilleira said that despite the loss, West Indies had a lot of positives to reflect on.
“Before the tournament, we were ranked fifth in the ICC rankings and now we have finished second in the world. It’s a huge achievement,” she added.
Earlier, Jess Cameron stroked 75 from 76 balls and opener Rachael Haynes, 52, as the Aussies piled up 259 for seven from their 50 overs, after winning the toss.
Teenaged leg-spinner Shaquana Quintyne was the leading bowler with three for 31 from her ten overs.
Australia, the heavy favourites, were away to a solid start with Haynes and Meg Lanning, who scored 31, posting 52 off 60 balls for the first wicket.
Once Lanning holed out to mid-off attempting to clear the infield with Taylor, Cameron took centre stage, anchoring two partnerships as Australia dominated the middle overs. She put on 64 for the second wicket with Haynes and when Alex Blackwell fell cheaply for three, added a further 55 for the fourth wicket with Lisa Sthalekar (12).
Cameron, a right-hander, struck eight fours and two sixes in a fine innings which was ended when she suffered an error in judgement and smashed a full toss from left-arm spinner down the throat of Kycia Knight on the mid-wicket boundary at 181 for four in the 36th over.
West Indies then reined in Australia’s scoring as four wickets fell for 28 runs until captain Jodie Fields, who finished on 36 not out off 38 balls, and Perry who stroked an unbeaten 25 from 22 balls, broke the shackles in a unbroken 50-run, eighth wicket stand off 40 balls.
The Caribbean side started their run chase solidly but slowly as Kycia Knight (17) and Natasha McLean (13) consumed 60 balls in raising 32 for the first wicket.
Perry broke the stand when she trapped the left-handed Knight lbw with one that nipped back, sparking a slide that saw West Indies lose their next two wickets for the addition of just nine runs.
The right-armer had the prolific Stafanie Taylor caught and bowled for five in her next over and also sent back McLean, lbw playing across a full length delivery, one over later.
Aguilleira and Kyshona Knight (21) were attempting a repair job when the latter hobbled off with an injury at 57 for three in the 22nd over. Dottin joined Aguilleira to stretch the fourth wicket stand to 47, with both playing positively.
Aguilleira hammered two fours and a massive six over deep mid-wicket off 36 deliveries while Dottin was her usual cavalier self, blasting a pair of sixes off seamer Sarah Coyte along with a four, in her 28-ball knock.
Sthalekar bowled both to leave West Indies needing a miracle at 109 for five but hope evaporated quickly as the last five wickets perished for 36 runs. (CMC/HG)

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