Roseau, Dominica — A superb knock by Merissa Aguilleira took West Indies Women to a hard-fought victory over India Women in the third T20 International at Windsor Park on Wednesday.
The courageous captain remained calm under pressure to make the top score of 39 not out as the home side reached 86-4 off 19.4 overs to win with two balls to spare after limiting the visitors to 83-7 off 20 overs. The leading bowler for the Windies was off-spinner Stafanie Taylor, who had 2-16 off four overs.
The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batted with some discomfort and had to receive treatment for a right hamstring injury during her innings. She came in with the team in trouble at 10 runs for three wickets and played confidently for an hour, faced 48 balls and hit two fours. It was her highest T20 International score surpassing her previous best of 26 made against Sri Lanka in St Kitts in April, 2010.
Speaking after the match Aguilleira said she was “well pleased” with the performance. She added the next step is to win again on Thursday and take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
“I had to fight really hard today. I had to be brave. I had to fight the pain. My hamstring gave me some problems but we will have that fixed and I will be ready for tomorrow’s match. I am well pleased that I was able to stay at the crease and do the job for the team. For me it is always all about the team. We were in a hole and as captain I knew I had to stand there and bat to the end,” she said.
“It is always good to lead from the front. Today we lost some early wickets but we still had plenty time in the game when I went in. I am not a power-hitter so I was able to settle in and work the ball into the gaps and build an innings. That was ideal for me … yes, there was the pressure of losing wickets, but time was on my side and I was happy with the way I stayed there and guided the team to victory.”
She added: “We have chance to wrap up the series with a win tomorrow and we will be going all out to do that. It will be tough, we are playing against a higher ranked team and they are very competitive, but we are also a good team and we believe we can do it tomorrow. We are aiming to win this (T20 Series) and also the other one (One-Day Internationals). We know we can do it.”
The fourth T20 International will be played at Windsor Park on Thursday at 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time).
Saturday, February 18: West Indies won by 8 wickets
Sunday, February 19: India won by 3 runs
Wednesday, February 22: West Indies won by 4 wickets
Thursday, February, 23: 4th T20 International at Windsor Park, Dominica – 2 pm
Monday, February 27: 5th T20 International at Warner Park, St Kitts – 2 pm
Wednesday, February 29: 1st One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts – 10 am
Friday, March 2: 2nd One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts – 10 am
Sunday, March 4: 3rd One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts – 10 am