Galle: The West Indies opened their account in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 with a seven-wicket win over a formidable New Zealand side in a Group B encounter here on Wednesday.
Chasing 118, the West Indies were in trouble at five for two in two overs, with Tremayne Smartt and Shanel Daley both dismissed for ducks. It took the calm influence of Stafanie Taylor to steady the innings and bring some direction and purpose to the chase.
Taylor, who recently won the ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year award, proved why she is considered one of the best in the game. She stitched together a crucial 82-run stand for the third wicket with Deandra Dottin, before being trapped in front of the stumps for 35 by Sophie Devine, who struck with her first delivery to give New Zealand an outside chance.
However, Dottin didn't lose her focus, and she soon brought up her fifth T20I fifty off just 36 balls. She struck six fours and two sixes to finish on 58 not out as her side achieved victory with seven wickets and 12 balls to spare.
Earlier, the West Indies opted to bowl first and restricted New Zealand to 117 for nine in 20 overs, thanks to some outstanding ground fielding and catching.
New Zealand were given a swift start by captain Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite, who put on 37 runs for the opening wicket in under five overs. However, Aguilleira's decision to introduce spin turned out to be a masterstroke, as she struck in her first over to dismiss Satterthwaite.
Sophie Devine (11) and Frances Mackay (2) departed in quick succession and New Zealand slipped from 63 for one to 66 for three in the 11th over. When Bates was dismissed in the 17th over after a well-crafted 32, New Zealand were by no means in a safe position at 91 for six. They lost a further three wickets to finish with a hard-fought 117 for nine.
For West Indies, Taylor, Anisa Mohammed and Shemaine Campbelle picked up two wickets apiece, and Deandra Dottin was named Player of the Match.