CUTTACK – An attacking knock of 75 from Stafanie Taylor led West Indies to a tight two-wicket win which eliminated South Africa from the International Cricket Council’s World Cup at the Barbati Stadium today.
South Africa didn’t carry over any points from the first round, and the defeat leaves them on zero points with only two matches to play. With Australia already on six points, and New Zealand and West Indies on four and still to face each other, South Africa have no chance of making it to the final.
The victory was also important for West Indies as their two remaining matches are against tough opponents in Australia and New Zealand. Defeat against South Africa would have meant that they had to win both those matches and hope for other results to go their way to qualify for the final.
West Indies were set a target of 231, and Taylor came to the middle at the fall of the first wicket in the second over. She departed in the 26th, after guiding West Indies to a position of control at 146 for 3. Regular wickets thereafter pegged them back, but the lower order held their nerve to clinch victory.
South Africa, after choosing to bat, played steadily for much of their innings, building on the solid start given by opener Trisha Chetty and the captain Mignon du Preez.
Middle-order batsman Cri-zelda Brits slammed 44 off 41 and Dane van Niekerk hit 33 off 30 as South Africa took 90 off the final 12.3 overs.
West Indies, on the contrary, maintained a high run-rate from the outset. Only as they came close to the target did the wickets slow them down.
Besides Taylor, Kycia Knight, Shemaine Campbelle and Deandra Dottin all contributed significantly in the chase.
West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira was delighted with the start to the Super Sixes.
“We have no room to make any mistakes in the Super Sixes,” she said. “We really have to be on top of our game, so we knew we had to start well. We could have won with more wickets in hand but there are areas we need to work on.”
She also praised her batters for getting the job done when facing a stiff target.
“I must say they got 60 runs too much, we were a little bit slack on the field. Yes the batters put down their heads and did what they were supposed to do. The ball kept low at times but overall we did a good job. We have been faltering a bit with the batting.”
South Africa’s captain du Preez thought her team had put enough runs on the board.
“We thought 230 was a lot of runs on this wicket,” she said. “None of us have scored on this wicket so far, so I thought we had a good chance but we faltered in the bowling department.”
In a tight match, they bowled 18 wides and conceded a total of 25 extras.
“We have been bowling quite a lot of extras, we can’t afford to do that. We have to work on that going into the next game. I think a few miss-fields here and there added a bit of pressure on us. I don’t think inexperience was the reason why we couldn’t pull through in the end.” (Cricinfo)††