. . . but Taylor shines
MELBOURNE – A superb, attacking half-century by Player-Of-The-Match Stafanie Taylor was not enough as West Indies Women went under by four-wickets to Australia Women in the third Twenty20 International, to extend their losing skid today.
Taylor’s top score of 78 was the foundation of the Caribbean side’s 149 for six off their 20 overs but the hosts rallied around captain Meg Lanning’s 51 and a late innings, unbeaten cameo 25 off 12 balls from Alyssa Healy, to get home with a ball remaining in the contest at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The result – the third straight loss for the Windies Women – handed Australia the series with one game still left to be played on Sunday.
Opting to bat first, West Indies Women were propelled by two key partnerships which were both anchored by Taylor. After losing 16-year-old opener Hayley Matthews cheaply for eight with the score on 14 in the third over, the right-handed Jamaican took charge of the innings.
She put on 41 for the second wicket with Deandra Dottin whose lean run continued with 19 off 18 balls, before adding a further 56 for the third wicket with Shanel Daley who scored 15.
Taylor, the Windies Women’s leading scorer in the series, faced a mere 58 balls and counted 11 fours and a six before falling to the first ball of the penultimate over.
Shemaine Campbelle then gave the Windies a flourish at the end, cracking two sixes and a four in a brisk 24 which required a mere 13 balls.
Pace bowler Rene Farrell (2-31) and fellow seamer Sarah Coyte (2-32) grabbed two wickets apiece.
West Indies Women then claimed the early wicket of dangerous opener Jess Jonassen for just six in the fourth over but were then frustrated by two successive partnerships underpinned by Lanning’s knock.
The Aussie skipper posted 38 for the second wicket with opener Elyse Villani who gathered 28 from 27 balls and then put on a further 40 for the third wicket with Alex Blackwell, who played a supporting role with 19 off 26 deliveries.
Lanning fell in the 14th over at 104 for three after facing 35 balls and counting eight fours.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who finished with two for 27, then struck twice in successive overs to remove Jess Cameron without scoring and Elyse Perry for four, as Australia lost four wickets for 16 runs to plunge to 120 for six.
However, the Windies hopes of snatching victory were then dashed by Healy’s counter-attacking exploits. The right-hander lashed two fours and a six – the latter coming in the 18th over sent down by leg-spinner Shaquana Quintyne which cost 16 runs.
With five required from the last over, Healy showed a calm head to see the Aussies over the line.