ICC World Twenty20 (WT20) defending champions, West Indies, face South Africa today in a crucial group stage match that could determine, even earlier than expected, who advances to the semi-finals come November 22 in Antigua.
The match bowls off at 7.20 pm local time from the Darren Sammy Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, with both teams on two points after victories in their first match. England top the table with three points from two games, but with rain still a looming threat, every game has to be treated as a decider, as the top two aim to progress to the knockouts.
The Windies opened proceedings with an exhilarating bowling performance by dismantling Bangladesh for a tournament-low 46 on the heels of Deandra Dottin’s record-breaking five for five, which made her the first T20 woman with a century and a five-for in the game.
However, Stafanie Taylor’s squad limped to 106 for eight batting first, which the skipper deemed as a major hiccup in their ambitions. Only three batsmen got into double figures via Taylor (29), Kycia Knight (32) and powerhouse Natasha McLean (11), which Taylor hopes will change.
The skipper has already called for improvement from established batters such as her deputy, Hayley Matthews, Dottin herself and Shemaine Campbell. Dottin has promised a couple hundreds of her own, but admitted that while their bowling and fielding are disciplined, more is required of the bat, especially from her.
“I do have a special goal. Scoring more centuries, as well. I have two more coming for sure. I’ve been working hard on my game, setting goals for myself and for me, it’s to take the team as far as I can.”” she said prior to today’s match.
Dottin revealed she was also much more focused than previous tournaments. “We have been working the past couple of months on my fitness, doing sprints, intervals, a lot of speed work. I mostly used to do long distance and short sprints, I added some intervals. It helps you concentrate a lot as well,” she added.
The third-ranked Windies are slight favourites against the sixth-ranked South Africans, who toured the Caribbean over the last month and drew 1-1 in a One Day series and 2-2 in a T20 series.
The South Africans convincingly beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their opener, chasing 100 to win. The Windies will have to be cautious of pacer Shabnim Ismail (who took three for 10), captain Dane van Niekerk (33 not out) and Marizanne Kapp (38), the latter duo being widely considered as two of the best all-rounders in the game.