The champion at a qualifying event for the ICC Women’s World Cup two years ago in Bangladesh, West Indies is one Super Six win away from booking a World Cup 2013 final berth. Australia is fortunate to be facing the Caribbean cricketers without having to worry about sealing a spot in the February 17 decider.
With an all-win record in the group and Super Six stages, the gold and green brigade led by Jodie Fields is far ahead of the chasing pack. West Indies’ mix of explosive batters and versatile bowlers has the ability to stretch the leader, maybe even beat them on a day when self-belief within the Merissa Aguilleira-led squad is high.
With qualification for the summit clash being within sniffing distance, winning is a huge motivator for West Indies.
There is life after defeat too for Merissa’s teammates. If West Indies loses, the run-rate of the victor of the England vs New Zealand Super Six match will decide the team getting to challenge Australia. Jodie Fields does not want to take her foot off the pedal. “You can’t take West Indies lightly,” said the Aussie captain, prior to Wednesday’s Super Six match. “Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor are great players who have all been firing away with the bat.”
Matches at the MIG ground, with small boundaries as compared to the Brabourne stadium, means that big-hitting will have a huge say. West Indies batters, Stafanie and Deandra in particular, have plundered attacks in the past. Australia piled up 333 in 50 overs during a warm-up game against the Caribbeans at the venue.
Power-players prominent in both teams capable of clearing the ropes at will — Meghann Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Jess Cameron in the Australian batting line-up, Stafanie (171 versus Sri Lanka at MIG) and awesome Deandra starring for the West Indies — can convert the Super Six game into a pile-up of runs via fours and sixes.
Bowlers will focus on dot balls and wait for batters’ mishits.