Cuttack: West Indies Women made heavy weather of a reasonably easy chase before clinching an two-wicket victory over South Africa Women in their first Super Six match of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup here on Friday. Set a target of 231, the Caribbeans lost their way after a decent start before managing to seal the issue with two wickets and 27 balls to spare.
Kycia Knight (46) and Stafanie Taylor (75) were the stars of the successful chase. Their dismissal triggered a collapse but the West Indies wagged just enough to take the team home after a few hiccups. Earlier, South Africa Women managed to put on a fighting total on board, courtesy a couple of decent contributions that helped them go beyond 200.
Trisha Chetty (45) and Croi-zelda Brits (44) were the top run-getters in an otherwise mediocre batting effort that was kept on a tight leash by the disciplined West Indian bowlers. The West Indian chase was not off to a very good start as opener Natasha Mclean departed after making just five runs but Kycia Knight (46) and Stafanie Taylor (75) steadied the innings in contrasting style.
The cautious Knight and the aggressive Taylor stitched together a 126-run partnership. Knight was the first to be dismissed among the two after facing 68 deliveries and striking six fours. She was sent back by Dane van Niekerk, the 19-year-old leg-spinner who had earlier contributed valuable 33 runs to the South African total.
Taylor followed Knight back to pavillion, falling to the same bowler after a 78-ball knock which was studded with nine fours and a six.
Later, Deandra Dottin (24) and Shemaine Campbell (33) did their bit to take the Windies past the finish line. The South African were guilty of inconsistency as their bowlers, despite taking regular wickets, failed to keep a lid on the scoring rate.
For the Caribbean team, pacer Tremayne Smartt was the top wicket-taker, grabbing two while conceding 43 runs in her 10 overs. She was well-supported by fellow pacer Shanel Daley, who picked up one wicket after giving away 39 runs in her 10 overs.
South Africa were off to a slow start, managing 22 runs in 10 overs. They lost their first wicket on the same score when opener Yolandi Potgieter departed after contributing just seven runs that came off 35 deliveries. Next batter was skipper Mignon du Preez, who combined with Chetty to put on 62 runs for the second wicket before falling to leg-spinner Shaquana Quintyne.
Chetty was the third South African wicket to fall when she was clean bowled by medium-pacer Deandra Dottin. Chetty sent down six fours in her 74-ball knock. The next best contribution to the South African total came from Brits, who was rather quick with her scoring taking just 41 deliveries to gather 44 runs. She smashed four fours and a couple of sixes in an entertaining cameo.
Lower down the order, Dane van Niekerk came good with an unbeaten 33 that came off 30 deliveries and included two fours and a six.