Australia secured its place at the top of Group A in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2010 as it defeated host and fellow semi-final qualifier West Indies in front of a crowd of over 4000 spectators at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Despite losing the match by nine runs, Stafanie Taylor led the batting with style for the host finishing 58 not out in an innings that included four boundaries and two sixes. The 18-year-old Jamaican in turn earned herself the Player of the Match award for her stylish performance in front of the huge crowd.
“It was a real surprise to win the Player of the Match award; I didn’t think I was going to win it, especially since we lost the match. I kept trying to get the strike from the lower order batters but at the end of the day I couldn’t get to hit the ball as freely as I would’ve liked,” said Taylor.
Meanwhile, England secured its first and only victory of the tournament today when it beat South Africa by 56 runs in the first fixture of the day at Warner Park.
Having made a competitive total of 141 for the South Africans to chase down, the English bowling attack proved to be too strong for the side.
Nicky Shaw and Danielle Wyatt were the pick of the English bowlers with 3-17 and 4-11 respectively.
Wyatt, who received the Player of the Match award said: “I’m obviously pleased to have won Player of the Match but credit has to go to Anya Shrubsole and Nicky Shaw who came before me. When Charlotte Edwards came to me and asked me to bowl I was really pleased as I knew I could do well and the performance showed. It was good to clean-up the tail-enders.”
Having won the toss in the first game of the day Charlotte Edwards elected to bat first on a hot day at Warner Park and it became the task of the middle-order to provide the runs after Edwards departed for 18 and her partner Sarah Taylor for just six.
The middle order did just that, despite the game effectively being a dead-rubber, with Claire Taylor and Laura Marsh adding 30 for the third wicket before Claire Taylor was removed after being caught by Alicia Smith after making 20 runs. It was then up to Marsh and Lydia Greenway to add a quick 44 for the fourth wicket partnership in just under five overs.
Marsh was stumped by Tricia Chetty for 33, off 32 balls but Greenway ensured she stayed in till the end of England’s innings, remaining unbeaten on 34 off 32 balls. Birthday girl Jenny Gunn supported Greenway in a stand of 32 off three overs to take England to match-winning total.
There were no major contributors from South Africa and the match was sewn up when it lost half its side for 62 in the 11th over. It was then up to Wyatt to show her skills at dismissing the end of the South African batting line up which is exactly what she did.
South Africa captain Cri-Zelda Brits said: “We’ve had a disappointing tournament all round and today our batters just didn’t perform as they should have done.
“There are a couple of positives to come out of this tournament, I think we have improved in the field and I think out ‘keeper Tricia Chetty and our young new bowler Chloe Tryon have performed well for us during this tournament.”
In the second match of the day host West Indies took on fellow semi-final qualifiers Australia to fight out who would finish top of Group A in the women’s tournament.
West Indies won the toss and elected to field in the afternoon sunshine at Warner Park and Australia’s opening pair of Shelley Nitschke and Elyse Villani put on 33 runs before Nitschke departed for 19 having hit four boundaries in the process.
Villani departed just four runs and the task of making runs for the Australia side fell to its captain Alex Blackwell who alongside Jess Cameron put on 26 runs for the fourth wicket partnership.
As the innings progressed Anisa Mohammed dismissed both Cameron and Rene Farrell leaving Blackwell to partner Lisa Sthalekar for 25 runs before the captain departed after being caught off the bowling of Shanel Daley by Stacey-Ann King much to the delight of the home crowd.
Sthalekar and Alyssa Healy saw out the Australia innings with Healy departing on the last ball of the innings after being caught by Britney Cooper off the bowling of Daley.
Stafanie Taylor led from the front with the West Indies batting and was only aided in her bid to bring victory to the home supporters by Cooper (27) and Daley (19). The rest of the West Indies batting line-up failed to perform in front of huge home support with Deandra Dottin again departing for a first ball duck, this time falling victim to the bowling of Elyse Perry.
West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira came to the aid of Taylor in the final over but to no avail with side requiring 15 runs off the final over, a challenge that proved too great for the pair with side falling short by just nine runs.
Australia captain Alex Blackwell was pleased with the overall result and finishing top of Group A and the impending semi-finals to be played at Beausejour Stadium in St Kitts later this week.
“I’m pleased with how we played today and it was a really great atmosphere here in St Kitts cheering on the teams.
“I think we’ve done well as a side and we’re continuing to do better and better as a side and I hope we continue with that momentum into the semi-finals whether we play India or Sri Lanka or even New Zealand.”
Scores in brief
At Warner Park, England beat South Africa by 56 runs
England 141-6, 20 overs (Greenway 34 no, Marsh 33, Gunn 21, C Taylor 20)
South Africa 85 all out, 17 overs (Brits 20; Fritz 15; Shaw 3-17, Wyatt 4-11)
England won by 56 runs
At Warner Park, New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 47 runs
Australia 133-7, 20 overs (Blackwell 28, Sthalekar 23 no, Nitschke 19; Mohammed 3-17; Daley 3-31)
West Indies 124-7, 20 overs (Taylor 58 no, Cooper 27; Perry 2-19)
Australia won by nine runs