A shambolic display of batting, marked by lack of application, saw New Zealand crash to a 48-run loss to the West Indies in a Super Six encounter of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday (February 11).
A late flurry of boundaries from Anisa Mohammed and a solid knock by Stafanie Taylor helped West Indies post 207 for nine. In reply, New Zealand managed just 159 before being bowled out in 44.3 overs.
“We believed that once we had 200 on the board, we could defend it as a team because of the bowling attack we had,” said a very pleased Merissa Aguilleira, the West Indies captain. “Spinners like Taylor and Anisa and pacers (Shanel) Daley and (Tremayne) Smartt definitely set the tone for us. It was an all-round performance.”
New Zealand, who opted to bowl first, brought in Kate Broadmore, the allrounder, for Amy Satterthwaite, who has had a poor run in the tournament. Broadmore’s inclusion, however, didn’t yield results as she managed just eight and remained wicketless throughout her quota of 10 overs.
On the same strip where Australia had bundled out Sri Lanka for 131 a day earlier, Sian Ruck struck early as she dismissed Natasha McLean and Kycia Knight, the two West Indian openers, within the first 10 overs. Both McLean and Knight were guilty of playing across the line as they were trapped leg before wicket. With figures of 6-0-23-2 in her first spell, Ruck was the spearhead of New Zealand’s bowling attack.
Just as it appeared as if Taylor and Kyshona Knight, Kycia’s twin, had set themselves up for the long haul, a poor top-edged shot saw Knight hole out to Lea Tahuhu at mid-on after a stand of 37 for the third wicket.
Three over later, Suzie Bates, the New Zealand captain, landed the crucial wicket of Taylor, caught behind by Rachel Priest. Taylor (49), who looked in sublime form during her stay, narrowly missed out on her 17th One-Day International fifty.
Thereafter, the rot set in as Morna Nielsen grabbed two quick wickets, those of Aguilleira and Deandra Dottin. With her big-hitting prowess, Dottin smashed a quickfire 27 off 21 balls, laced with four fours and a six. Her desire to attack manifested itself in a reverse sweep that was brilliantly taken by Ruck at square-leg.
Daley scored a patient 37 off 64 balls and Shermaine Campbelle prolonged the innings while Anisa, who came in at No. 10, ensured a late spurt, lashing four fours in her unbeaten knock of 31, that took West Indies past 200.
Aguilleira was pleased with the fact that the team’s batting no longer relied on Taylor and Dottin alone, and the others too had stepped up. “I’ve seen Anisa a lot in the lines of all different areas of the game and I believe that she can clear the fence,” she said, commending Anisa’s allround effort. “She came out and did that and lived up to the expectation from her team.”
Nielsen emerged New Zealand’s most successful bowler with figures of three for 27.
Chasing 208, New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals and never looked to dominate with their batting, which has otherwise been phenomenal throughout the tournament.
“With an outfield like that, if you have wickets in hand, you can sort of (chase) 250 plus but if you lose wickets, then it is hard to get going and can squeeze teams,” said Bates, the New Zealand captain.
Smartt and Daley, the West Indies new-ball pair, crippled New Zealand’s chase as they were left reeling at 47 for 3 in 9.5 overs. Smartt made early inroads as she trapped Frances Mackay with an inswinger in the second over. Sara McGlashan, who came in next, and the hard-hitting Sophie Devine, too became Smartt’s victims.
Bates tried to anchor the chase during her 90-minute stay before popping an easy return catch to Anisa. New Zealand were only briefly in the hunt when Bates and Katie Perkins added 29 for the fourth wicket. With Bates’ fall, the fight seemed fizzle out of the New Zealand batting as it was only Rachel Priest, the wicketkeeper-batter, who put up a lone fight towards the end with a feisty 36 runs.
Bates, who was critical of her team’s collective batting failure, said, “What wins you games is batters stepping up in the top five and scoring runs, so obviously I am disappointed today that none of the top five stepped up and we left it to Rachel Priest and it was too much for her to do.”
Dottin and Taylor shared four wickets equally to consign New Zealand, who have otherwise had a dream tournament so far, to a heavy defeat, setting the stage up beautifully for the final round of Super Six matches on February 13. The West Indies now have six points and will face Australia, who are already through to the final, while England and New Zealand, both with four points against their names, take on each other with plenty to play for.
“It was almost a semifinal for us,” said Bates. “Now we have really opened this Super Six stage up, which has given England another sniff and West Indies are now in the hunt. It is going to come down to the last game. I guess that is what World Cups are about and unfortunately, today’s loss has put us on the back foot.”