West Indies Women cricketers defied the odds when they defeated New Zealand Women by six runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India, to book their first-ever appearance at a Twenty20 World Cup final.
Thursday's semi-final was the fourth for the Caribbean side-having lost the previous three- and it pitted them against a Kiwis outfit that had won all its matches to date. But they successfully defending the 143 for six they posted, after losing the toss and being asked to take first strike, by restricting New Zealand to 137 for the loss of eight wickets.
Opener Haykey Matthews gave West Indeies a positive start, stricking two boundaries off Lea Tahuhu in the second over before departing leg before to spinner Morna Nielsen with the score on 18. She made 16. Britney Cooper joined captain Stafanie Taylor and the pair posted a 60-run second-wicket partnership before Taylor fell last delivery of the 12th over, caught at midwicket by Katie Perkins off medium pacer Sophie Devine . She struck two boundaries in scoring 25 off 26 balls.
Cooper up the tempo after losing her captain and would feature in a 44-run third wicket partnership with Deandra Dottin. She was particularly severe on spinner Leigh Kasperek-the tournament highest wicket taker-taking two boundaries off her first over before launching into her in the 17th over with consecutive sixes over long-on and long-off.
And when Dottin departed in the 18th over, bowled leg stump by Devine after moving across to scoop a delivery pitched on middle, West Indies were 122 of which she contributed 20 containing two boundaries. Cooper departed three balls later for a well-played half century, caught behind off an outside edge to give Devine her third wicket. She struck five boundaries and two sixes in her 48-ball top score of 61.
West Indies then lost Stacy-Ann King, caught at long-on attempting a big hit, and Shermaine Campbell, run out off the final delivery of the innings to close at 143 for six. Devine finshed with four wickets at the cost of 22 runs in her four overs.
The Caribbean women began the defence of their total well as pacer Shamilia Connell uprooted Rachel Priest's offstump with the first ball of the third over to leave the Kiwis at 11 for one. Devine went into attack mode opon coming to the wicket, smashing two boundaries off Connell and then adding two more in the next over off Dottin to push the score to 32 after four overs. However, on reaching 22 she was run out attempting a quick single by a direct hit from Dottin at point and Suzie Bates followed four balls later, caught at mid-off by Shaquana Quintyne off Afy Fletcher to leave New Zealand at 49 for 3 after seven overs.
Amy Satterthwaite, 24, and Sarah McGlashan, 38, restored some hope for the Kiwis with a 59-run fourth wicket partnership but both of them fell with the score at 108. Satterthwaite was caught at deep midwicket by Campbell off Taylor and McGlashan followed the very next delivery, caught by Campbelll running in from deep cover, to leave Taylor on a hattrick.
New Zealand would go on to lose the wickets of Perkins at 116 for 6 in the 18th, Kasperek at 125 for 7 in the 19th and Erin Bermingham, run out of the final delivery to finish at 137 for 8, falling seven runs short of victory.
Taylor finished with figures of three for 26 in her four overs while Cooper copped the Player-of-the-Match award for her 61.
West Indies Women faces Australia Women in Sunday's final.
West Indies Women 143 for 6 off 20 overs (B. Cooper 61, S. Taylor 25, D. Dottin 20; S. Devine 4 for 22) vs New Zealand Women 137 for 8 off 20 overs (S. McGlashan 38, A. Satterthwaite 24, S. Devine 22; S. Taylor 3 for 26) -West Indies Women won by six runs.