Confident WI women hope to upset undefeated NZ in semis

West Indies, which has felt 'good vibes' going into the Women's World Twenty20 semifinal against New Zealand, looks to upset a clinical side that is undefeated in the tournament.

Stafanie Taylor acknowledged Darren Sammy's useful interactions with the women's team.   -  PTI

On one side, you have a two-time finalist. And, on the other, there is a perennial semifinalist. This only means that either New Zealand or West Indies will suffer another dose of heartbreak at the Wankhede on Thursday. Then again, those are the kind of emotions you associate with an enormous contest like an ICC Women’s World Twenty20 semifinal with.

Much like their male counterparts, the ‘White Ferns’ from New Zealand have won all their group matches, including the big-ticket game against Australia in which offspinner Leigh Kasperek bowled an astonishing first spell to reduce the arch-rival to an unbelievable four for four in four overs. Apart from that stunning performance in Nagpur, Suzie Bates’s side has notched up wins over Sri Lanka, Ireland and South Africa. Never mind the logistical nightmare the team underwent at one stage of the tournament in which it had to undertake a Bharat darshan of sorts to cover the 1,200-km distance from Chandigarh to Nagpur.

One step closer

Up against New Zealand will be a bustling bunch from the Caribbean. On Wednesday, the eve of the game, West Indies skipper Stefanie Taylor spoke of the “good vibes” she felt during the team’s training session. For a team that’s stumbled at the last-four stage on no less than three occasions in this tournament, those positive sensations mean a lot. If nothing, they indicate the team’s desire to go one step closer to the trophy. With three wins, including a defining one against Mithali Raj’s India, the West Indies has the wherewithal to stun New Zealand.

The boundary ropes have been brought in by a few yards, and with the pitch expected to play true, the ladies will be expected to play out a relatively high-scoring afternoon game. Mind you, the same pitch will be used for the men’s semifinal in the evening.

Both Bates and Taylor acknowledged the contribution of their respective men’s teams in terms of cricketing advice and motivation. While Bates thanked Brendon McCullum for always being there, Taylor left the media in splits by declaring that ‘Chris Gayle is a hard guy to find’. She, however, expressed her gratitude to Darren Sammy, who she said makes it a point to talk to the girls every now and then.

Teams (from)

New Zealand: Suzie Bates (Capt.), Sophie Devine, Erin Bermingham, Leigh Kasparek, Felicity Leydon-Davis, Sara McGlashan, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hanna Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahahu.

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (Capt.), Shakera Selman, Marissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Stacy Ann-King, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt.