Hunted West Indies up­beat for ti­tle de­fence.

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

TI­TLE-HOLD­ERS WEST Indies will take the first step in their anx­iously an­tic­i­pated de­fence of the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup when they clash with Bangladesh tonight.

The hosts have al­ready been in­stalled as heavy favourites to beat the min­nows in the Group A con­test, the head­line match of a triple-header at the Guyana Na­tional Sta­dium.

New Zealand clash with In­dia in the open­ing match at 10 a.m, three-time cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia do bat­tle with Pak­istan at 3 p.m. be­fore West Indies take cen­tre stage in the 7 p.m. mar­quée en­counter.

Cap­tain Stafanie Tay­lor told re­porters yes­ter­day that her charges were tak­ing noth­ing for granted, es­pe­cially with the Windies ex­pected to be the hunted side in the tour­na­ment.

“[It’s] not just [the fact that we’re] play­ing at home or be­ing de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, I just be­lieve as West Indies and what we bring to the ta­ble we do get that – peo­ple com­ing after us – be­cause peo­ple have the West Indies as one of the teams to beat,”Tay­lor said.

“So take away the fact that we’re at the World Cup, if we go any­where, West Indies are al­ways one of the teams to beat.

“So yes, there’s a bit of pres­sure, a bit of ex­pec­ta­tion. I think it’s just how we man­age that, and I’m try­ing to man­age that within the group and just think about our game and how we want to play and just go out there and play our style of cricket.”

HIS­TORIC EVENT

The event is a his­toric one as it marks the first ICC women’s stand­alone T20 World Cup after the pre­vi­ous tour­na­ments were staged along­side the men’s.

West Indies have been in­stalled in Group A along­side the likes of Eng­land, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, while Group B com­prises Aus­tralia, In­dia, New Zealand, Pak­istan, and Ire­land.

The Caribbean side won their maiden ti­tle in In­dia two years ago when they stunned the Aussies, the fi­nal in Kolkata, and Tay­lor said that a suc­cess­ful ti­tle de­fence would be strength­ened by the fact that the Windies pos­sessed home ad­van­tage.

“I think it does mat­ter. When we’re play­ing at home, we know the con­di­tions very, very well, and I think that does give us an edge over all the teams,”Tay­lor con­tended.

“But say­ing that, ev­ery­one is here to win that tro­phy and I know ev­ery­one will play hard just like how we’re go­ing to play.”

She added: “Prov­i­dence (sta­dium) is fairly new, and what we would have seen last night (in the warm-up match) is pretty much what we ex­pect, and I don’t be­lieve it will change so much.

“We’re play­ing in the night, so when you think about the con­di­tions, [it will be] dew for both teams, but I think the team that will bowl last might be the worse [off], but we just have to go out there and try to do what we can and play what we see.”

Since their T20 World Cup con­quest, the Windies have had a bit of a mixed bag, win­ning eight of 16 matches. They white­washed In­dia 3-0 away and Sri Lanka at home be­fore suf­fer­ing their own white­wash when they were clob­bered 4-0 in New Zealand.

They were held to a 2-2 draw in a five­match se­ries by the Proteas last Septem­ber – a se­ries many thought they should have won – but Tay­lor said that there had been a few pos­i­tives de­spite the re­sult.

“The fact that Hay­ley Matthews scored a hun­dred, I think that was a big plus in the group. She’s a big ta­lent com­ing through, and it was good boost­ing her con­fi­dence,” she pointed out.

“I’m pretty much happy with our fit­ness level. I think as a team we may have been strug­gling in that as­pect, so I be­lieve that has been good.”

West Indies have re­tained the core of their 2016 ti­tle-win­ning squad for their ti­tle de­fence with the likes of Tay­lor, Matthews, all-rounder De­an­dra Dot­tin, for­mer cap­tain Merissa Aguilleira, off­spin­ner Anisa Mo­hammed, and fast bowler Shamilia Con­nell all ex­pected to fea­ture.

SQUAD:

WEST INDES - Stafanie Tay­lor (cap­tain), Merissa Aguilleira, She­maine Camp­belle, Shamilia Con­nell, Brit­ney Cooper, De­an­dra Dot­tin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Chinelle Henry, Ky­cia Knight, Hay­ley Matthews, Natasha McLean, Anisa Mo­hammed, Chedean Na­tion, Shak­era Sel­man.

FILE

Windies Women’s cap­tain Stafanie Tay­lor (left) and vice-cap­tain Hay­ley Matthews.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.