Spotlight on region’s women
Barbados looking to make impact in Championship
COUVA, Trinidad and Tobago –– Barbados will look to make a significant impact on their opponents when the West Indies Women’s Super50 Championship bowls off on Thursday.
The Bajan girls will be led by West Indies player Shaquana Quintyne and will be turning to Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews to dominate the batting.
Dottin is currently ranked ninth (620 points) and has scored 310 runs in the ICC ODI Championship. All eyes will be on the very versatile Matthews given her stellar performances (debut tour) on the ill-fated series Down Under in 2014.
To date in six matches at the ICC ODI Champions, Matthews has scored 261 runs and taken eight wickets at an average of 18.25.
The Knight sisters, Kycia and Kyshona, along with Shakera Selman and Shamilla Connell are also expected to lead the Bajan charge to wrest the title from defending champions Jamaica.
Hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force Divas will be counting on home advantage and well organised preparation to dethrone Jamaica.
The region’s top female cricketers will not only representing their respective countries, but will also be addressing the regional selectors to be part of the West Indies team that is currently positioned third on ten points from nine games, behind Australia (16 points) and South Africa (11 points) in the ICC ODI Championship.
Six teams will be vying for the coveted title. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana will be joined by newcomers Windward Islands South Zone, WI (SZ) and Windward Islands North, WI (NZ).
The Windward Islands (SZ) comprise of the best players from Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, while the Windward Islands (NZ) will be pinning their hopes on the best players from Dominica and St Lucia.
The tournament will be on a round robin basis with the two top teams qualifying for the finals on August 16, at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) at Balmain, Couva.
All the championship matches will be played in Central Trinidad. Other than the NCC, Gilbert Park and Macaulay Park both in California and Exchange Recreation Ground, Couva will be used as match venues.
Practice sessions will be at the NCC, Macaulay Park and Inshan Ali Park, Preysal.
Defending champions Jamaica will be depending heavily on captain and West Indies vice-captain Stafanie Taylor to lead with both bat and ball. Taylor is currently ranked sixth (657 points) in batting and third (659 points) in bowling in the ICC top 10 ODI Women players. She is currently the leading WI batter with 332 runs in 8 matches in the ODI Championship and has taken eight wickets at an average of 24.82. Taylor will be hoping that fellow West Indies player Chinelle Henry, along with Jodian Morgan, Chedan Nation, Natasha McClean and Vanessa Watts provide the support required to remain as the region’s cricket queens.
Guyanese’s charge as title contenders will come from captain and West Indies fast bowler Tremayne Smart and ably supported by fellow West Indies teammates Shemaine Campbelle and Subrina Munroe.
Smart is presently the second highest WI wicket taker (10) at an average 19.20 per wicket in the ICC ODI Championship.
Other key players include wicketkeeper and vice-captain Melanie Henry who plays her club cricket in Trinidad with national champions Preysal Phoenix.
The Windward Islands (NZ) will be led by fast bowler Yasmine St Ange and support is expected to come from fellow fast bowler Roylin Cooper, along with Paulina Francis, Aslene Edward, Krisani Irish and Swayline William.
Juliana Nero will lead the Windward Islands (SZ) and will be expecting West Indies player Afy Fletcher to provide outstanding all round performances with bat and ball. Fletcher along with Akeira Peters played their club cricket in Trinidad for Technocrats in 2015.
Cordel Jack and Shavorne Clarke experience will be important to lead the WI South Zone quest to cop the title in their debut year.
T&T Red Force Divas will be led by the most successful West Indies captain/wicket-keeper Merissa Aguilleira. West Indies players Britney Cooper and Stacey Ann King will be expected to lead the batting with support coming from Amanda Samaroo, Felicia Walters, Reniece Boyce and Shenelle Lord.
The fast bowling quartet comprises of Kirbynia Alexander, Leeann Kirby, Stephanie Ramcharan and Samantha Bissoon.
The spinning trio will be led by the number two ranked ICC ODI bowler Anisa Mohammed (672 points) who is currently the leading wicket taker in the ICC OCI Championship with 16 wickets at an average of 17.25. She will be supported by her twin sister Alisa Mohammed and Karishma Ramharack.
The pressure will be on the Red Force Divas playing at home and given the recent performance of the local CPL franchise, the Red Steel.
Overall the expectations are high for a very competitive Women’s Super50 championship which at the end will ensure that unlike their male counterparts, the women will be prepared to continue to match their skills with the best and be among the best in the world. (windiescricket)