Wobbling WI Women seek salvation against SA
LEICESTER, England (CMC):
Without a win on tour and with confidence quickly draining, West Indies Women face a massive challenge in turning around their ICC Women's World Cup fortunes when they face South Africa Women in their third game today (4:30 a.m. Jamaica time).
The reigning Twenty20 World champions and 2013 fifty-overs World Cup finalists have been off the boil in the tournament, losing all five warm-up matches along with the first two games of the formal campaign.
And with five games left in the preliminaries, the Caribbean side are well aware that another defeat would seriously put in jeopardy their chances of making the final four of the competition.
Under-pressure captain Stafanie Taylor said yesterday that the importance of the South Africa contest at Grace Road was not lost on her side.
"We know how important all games are going forward, especially starting tomorrow," the 26-year-old said.
"I think we need to take things in stride, and come tomorrow, we will be looking to play hard cricket and fight for this one."
A source of major concern for West Indies will be the way their batting has crumbled in the series. In the opening game against reigning champions Australia Women, they were 123 for two batting first before collapsing to 204 all out.
And against India Women last Thursday, the Windies appeared in good shape at 69 for one but were held to 183 for eight.
Their batting was also exposed in the official warm-up game against South Africa in Oakham nine days ago when they were bundled out for an embarrassing 63.
Teenage opener Hayley Matthews has been the best batsman with scores of 46 and 43, but no Windies batsman has managed to pass 50.
However, Taylor said, her side were focusing on pulling all facets of their game together and executing on game day.
"We don't want to think too much about the end result. That will take care of itself. We know how these pitches play. We've played here before," the Jamaican continued.
"All the pitches will play exactly the same because they are good pitches, so if we bat first, we have to get runs on the board, and bowling first, we have to bowl them out for a decent target to chase it down."
Their best showing on tour to date came at the Grace Road venue even though they went down to Pakistan Women by five wickets 11 days ago.
In that encounter, they managed to get up to 246 with consistent batting and then pushed the Pakistanis, who only got home with 14 balls remaining.
Windies squad: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman, Felicia Walters.