FEARLESS West Indies women's all-rounder Deandra Dottin has sounded a warning to Australia that the defending champions of the ICC World Twenty20 are ready to beat them again. Dottin was quick to remind the Aussies of what happened at Eden Gardens in India in the last World T20 final two years ago. The teams face each other in semifinal action in Antigua on Thursday at 8pm.
Following a perfect four wins from four matches in Group B, the table-toppers West Indies moved one step closer to retaining their crown by setting up this crucial affair against three-time champs Australia who were Group A runners-up
"The pressure is always there but we're not feeling it. We know where we have to improve and we're just revving up," Dottin said to ESPN. "We know Australia are the top-ranked team in the world but we're on home turf and in great form so we're not afraid of them at all. If anything, we're totally ready for what they have to offer," she added.
Prior to the 2016 final, the Australians held the upper hand against the West Indies with four victories over them in the group stage of this competition. However, Hayley Matthews' 66, Stafanie Taylor's 59 and Dottin (two for 33) helped break that stranglehold as the Caribbean outfit stunned them in the final over to chase down 148 and grab the crown in front of the delighted Indian crowd.
"The rivalry is still there and I'm sure the last final will be on their minds, especially as we beat them with just three balls remaining. But we're ready and waiting, especially with the cricket we've been playing. We're going in on top and the confidence is there with our girls. We're the team to beat," she said. Dottin also believes the Australians' loss against India to close out the group stage could play to the Windies' advantage, especially with the Antiguan crowd acting as the 12th player.
The explosive Bajan turned in a player-of-the-match performance in the last match with a brilliant knock of 46 (one four, four sixes) and two for 21 to help the Windies hunt England's 115 in their first chase of the tournament.
Dottin declared she is ready to shoulder the burden of the challenge ahead, especially as the leading wicket taker of the tournament with nine scalps. She admitted though the home side is still working on getting the batting right.
"The bowling is giving me most pleasure. I think I'm sticking to the basics, and just keeping my line and length," she said.
She added, "I'm actually enjoying the batting as well. After having lost two quick wickets (against England), I knew I had to stay in the wicket and bring it home for the team and also stay positive. I knew where the breeze was coming from so I had to be smart about the chase."
After getting rocked by Anya Shrubsole's medium pace, the Windies were three for two before Dottin and Shemaine Campbelle (45) stabilised the innings to 71. Dottin made it clear more patience and composure was needed in the crease, but with their bowling and discipline on point so far, she isn't worried at all. She concluded, "We need smarter batting. That's all."