West Indies eye history against Australia in Women’s T20 final
Making their first T20 final after failing in the last three semi-final attempts, Windies women have a chance to enter the history books with the men’s team battling England for the big prize later Sunday.
It can be a rare hat-trick of titles for Windies cricket with the Under-19 boys lifting the youth World Cup in February.
“It’s the first final for us. I know there’s going to be some nerves around because it’s the first time but we just have to embrace it, just try to be calm and composed and just go out there and fight for it,” Stafanie told reporters on the eve of the final on Sunday.
“But we are not intimidated by them. They have won three titles, we have nothing to lose. We need to be positive and relaxed.”
The fifth-ranked West Indies built a steady momentum to bring out their best in the semi-final against a New Zealand side that had emerged unscathed in the league.
The Meg Lanning-led Australia is on familiar ground after winning three straight titles but the skipper admitted that “tomorrow is a new day”.
If records alone mattered, Australia would be the overwhelming favourite to win on Sunday, having beaten the West Indies in all their eight previous T20 Internationals, but Lanning is wary of the challenge.
“We’re expecting a really tough battle tomorrow and the West Indies will certainly come out firing so we’re looking forward to the challenge and make sure we’re right to go right from the start,” said Lanning on Saturday.
Australia have peaked at the right time after losing to the Kiwis in the league and displayed its prowess with a five-run win over old foe England in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Lanning said the entire team was “excited” about playing the final at the iconic Eden Gardens.
Australia: Meg Lanning (capt), Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and Elyse Villani.
West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (capt), Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Stacy-Ann King, Kyshona Knight, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Shaquana Quintyne, Shakera Selman and Tremayne Smartt.