MATCH REPORT: New Zealand v West Indies
It was another poor display with the bat from West Indies today at Taunton, as New Zealand bowled them out for 150 in the space of 43 overs, before racing to an 8 wicket victory.
West Indies had made two changes to their squad, no doubt in an effort to shore up their batting after their trouncing at the hands of South Africa. Kycia Knight, however, fared no better than her predecessor Reneice Boyce at the top of the order, falling caught behind to Lea Tahuhu in the third over of the day for an 8-ball duck.
Tahuhu’s next over was equally effective, as Hayley Matthews - who had begun the day by creaming two lovely boundaries through the leg side - was caught and bowled having misjudged Tahuhu’s bouncer.
New Zealand’s spin duo Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr then came into their own, bowling in tandem as between them they took 3 wickets in the space of 8 balls, leaving West Indies reeling at 53-5 in the 18th over.
Kasperek’s third and final wicket of the day was rather more unfortunate for the batsman in question - Merissa Aguilleira adjudged stumped when on 20, in a decision which might well not have stood had third umpire technology been available.
Nonetheless, for Kasperek it was a dream start to her World Cup career, as she finished with figures of 3-17 across her 10 overs, including 6 maidens and the invaluable wickets of Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin.
Dottin, meanwhile, picked up her second consecutive duck of the tournament.
Speaking after the match, Merissa Aguilleira stressed the bright spots amidst what has been a dark tournament for her side:
“In the midst of our negativity there are some positive things we can take from this game - we had Kyshona Knight, who played extremely well.”
But the late-order cameos today of Knight (41) and Afy Fletcher (23*) will do little to ease the disappointment of West Indies, who now have 4 losses from 4 matches and - barring a miracle comeback over the next few days - are firmly out of this tournament.
For New Zealand, on the other hand, polishing off the required runs in the space of 18.2 overs has significantly improved their net run rate, pushing them up to fourth in the current points table after the first four rounds of matches are complete.
Suzie Bates for once took a backseat in the run chase, content to watch from the other end as fellow opener Rachel Priest punished the West Indian bowling, splitting the field perfectly as she racked up 17 fours and two enormous sixes, one of which brought up her half-century.
It was an innings not without risk, and she was eventually out for 90 (off 55 balls), caught at extra cover, but it was nonetheless exactly what her side required.
Speaking after the match, captain Bates was full of praise for her side:
“For the girls to bowl like they did today, on a wicket that was pretty good, was outstanding.
This week we've talked to [Rachel] Priesty about going out there and being really confident to play her shots, so once she got on a roll the net run rate took care of itself.”