Mumbai: Emotionally overwhelmed after leading West Indies to their maiden World Cup final, skipper Merrissa Aguilleira on Wednesday said her team is reaping the rewards for executing its plans accurately.
"Words can't express what I am feeling right now. I am completely overwhelmed. We have been through a lot as a team. Its god's blessings. We just have to be grateful and thankful to him," Aguilleira said after West Indies beat five-time champions Australia by eight runs in the Super Six match.
"We executed our plans well. We would like to have played the final here, it's a lucky venue for us," added the Windies wicketkeeper after her side scored its first-ever win over Australia in international cricket.
Chasing 164 put up, Australia came a cropper and were shot out for 156 in 48.34 overs. The Windies are now into the February 17 summit clash for which the Aussies had already qualified ahead of Wednesday's game.
West Indies' victory shattered the dreams of defending champions England and New Zealand ahead of their last league game also held later in the evening. Merissa praised her team's fielding and bowling display in defending the small score. Among those singled out were Deandra Dottin, who hit a whirlwind knock of 60 off 67 balls with 10 fours and a six to power the Windies to a total which became unachievable.
"Guess Deandra has the natural ability to stroke the ball well. It's a god-given talent. She is using it well, but she is not using it enough," said Aguilleira about the 21-year-old Dottin's display.
"The team has a lot of youngsters, a 17-year-old Anisa Mohammed bowled very well. Dottin excelled in fielding at point and (Shanel) Daley also fielded very well. Stefanie Taylor also performed very well," she added.
Daley grabbed 3 for 22 to apply the brakes on the Australians, Taylor grabbed 2 for 26 in 10 overs and Anisa bowled economically for figures of 0 for 38 in 9. Aguilleira said Shemaine Campbelle said after the first innings that there were enough runs on the board to defend and true to her words the Aussies crumbled under pressure.
"Campbell said runs are already on the board. All we have to go is go out there and defend it. Once pressure is there, things can happen and that's exactly what we did."
She said the team needs to be on top in the final against the same opponents at the Brabourne Stadium under lights.
"Since we have been to the World Cup, we haven't brought out our A game. The final is definitely the place where we would like to bring out A game. There is lot of room for improvement. Not just on the field, but batting wise as well.
"We now have a few days to work hard and get those things in order. Then it's all about executing the plans," she said.
Losing skipper Jodie Fields, who also kept wickets in the game like her West Indies counterpart Aguilleira, praised the opponents.
"I don't think it's ever good to have a loss. We came out today to win the match. We wanted to go through the tournament undefeated, but credit to West Indies. They played well today," said the Australian captain.
Fields said the Aussies' first loss ever in four meetings to the opponents who they would face again in the final should be used well to iron out deficiencies in her team.
"We have to go away now and focus on training. We are going to play them in the final. At least we got a chance to look at what they are doing in their game and hopefully it should help us in the final."
She conceded that her batters' running between the wickets needs improvement with three run-outs stopping them dead in the track today.
"We lost a couple of wickets, running between the wickets. But I'm happy to see the girls be positive. We had to score runs and sometimes you have to take risks and to West Indies' credit they got some run outs. Something we will go away and work on," she said.
"West Indies bowled in disciplined areas. Their spinners took it to our batters. That helped them win the game today," she added.