Hosts West Indies were sensationally dumped from the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup after suffering a heavy 71-run defeat to Australia in the first semi-final here Thursday, bringing a depressing end to their hopes of repeating as world champions on home soil.
Asked to chase 143 on a slow track at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, West Indies’ batting woes returned to haunt them and they collapsed disappointingly for 71 in the 18th over – their joint second lowest score in the shortest format.
Shockingly, only captain Stafanie Taylor with 16 made it into double figures as Windies lost wickets from the outset and never recovered.
Australia had earlier gathered a competitive 142 for five off their 20 overs after being sent in, with flamboyant opener Alyssa Healy top-scoring with 46 on her return from injury and captain Meg Lanning getting 31.
Rachael Haynes chipped in with a fluent 15-ball unbeaten 25 down the order as Australia collected 47 runs from the last five overs to tip the momentum in their favour.
They will now await the winners of the other semi-final between England and India, to know their opponents in Saturday’s final.
West Indies got the better of the early exchanges when seamer Shakera Selman had left-hander Beth Mooney chipping a catch to mid-off to depart for six at 20 for one in the third over.
However, Healy counter-attacked, lashing four fours and a six off 38 balls as she put on 51 for the second wicket with Lanning, whose 39-ball knock contained two fours.
When Healy top-edged a sweep at leg-spinner Afy Fletcher and was taken at short fine leg by Shamilia Connell, Lanning and Ashleigh Gardner (14) kept the innings ticking in a 24-run third wicket stand.
Both fell in the space of 11 balls and when Elyse Villani was brilliantly taken at deep mid-wicket by Britney Cooper, West Indies were in control at 113 for five in the 18th over.
But seamer Deandra Dottin’s introduction at the death proved costly as she leaked 28 runs from two overs, and Australia gathered precious runs courtesy of Haynes who slammed four boundaries.
In reply, Windies flattered to deceive as openers Hayley Matthews and Dottin sparkled briefly with off-side boundaries.
But Matthews fell first, smartly run out by wicketkeeper Healy in the second over after taking a few exploratory steps from her crease and Dottin followed in the next over, losing her leg stump to seamer Perry (2-2).
Shemaine Campbelle (7) pulled Perry into square leg’s lap in the fifth over and eight balls later, Natasha McLean spooned pacer Delissa Kimmince (2-17) to cover without scoring.
Rocking on 27 for four in the seventh over, the Windies found no respite as wickets continued to tumble and when Taylor, who spent 28 balls at the crease, holed out to long off off left-arm spinner Sohie Molineux, the writing was on the wall.
Left-hander Kycia Knight followed suit, caught at wide long on for seven off Gardner (2-15) in the 12th over and Cooper’s dismissal, skying a catch off Kimmince for Healy to take a simple catch, left the Windies beyond the point of no return at 53 for seventh in the 13th over.