Aguilleira: Taylor is a class act
GALLE, Sri Lanka – Merissa Aguilleira hailed star all-rounder Stafanie Taylor for her role in helping the West Indies Women’s team reach the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Tournament.
Aguilleira, the Windies Women’s captain, was speaking after Taylor underlined her all-round value to the team, driving them into the Final Four with a 10-wicket victory over South Africa Women in their final group match on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Taylor struck half-dozen boundaries in 33 not out from 30 balls, becoming only the third player to pass 1,000 runs in Women’s T20 Internationals, as the Caribbean side successfully chased a modest target of 71 without losing a wicket in the Group-B match at the Galle International Stadium.
All-rounder Taylor had put things in motion for the Windies Women with 3-10 from her allotted four overs, as the South Africans were restricted to 70 for eight from their 20 overs.
“Stafanie showed why she is among the best in the World at the moment and rated among the best women who have played international cricket,” said Aguilleira.
“She led the way with the ball and came back to finish the job with the bat. She’s a class act and always gives her all for the team.”
Aguilleira also heaped praise on Windies Women’s coach Sherwin Campbell for the planning in plotting the South African team’s defeat.
The former Barbados captain and West Indies men’s opener was the driving force behind the decision to compose his side’s attack with five specialist spinners.
“We know that they fancy pace on the ball and like the ball coming onto the bat,” said Aguilleira.
“But we decided to change the normal game-plan and force them to go for shots by using our slow bowlers.”
She added: “The previous night, we analysed each of their players. We had specific plans in place. We played a couple of warm-ups against them, so we had an idea of what to expect.
“Sherwin is a very good coach. He is someone who has had vast experience of playing and coaching. He is extremely persistent, but it is up to us at the end of the day to implement the plans. He has been really good for us.”
The Windies Women topped Group-B, despite a shocking defeat to hosts Sri Lanka Women in a badly rain-affected match.
Aguilleira said her advice to the team for the final group match against the South Africans was to play with freedom and showcase their skills.
“We knew we had the quality and ability,” Aguilleira said. “In the match against Sri Lanka, we didn’t play up to the usual standard that we set for ourselves.
“We just spoke about improving and playing without any worry because qualification to the semi-finals was well within our reach.”
The Windies Women travelled to the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo on Sunday evening, where they will prepare for the semi-finals.
The semi-finals of the Women’s World T20 takes place on the same days as the men’s, with the Windies Women set to play in the second semi-final against the second-placed finisher in Group-A this coming Friday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Reigning champions Australia face arch-rivals England in their last Group-A match on Monday to decide the final positions and who will play where in the semi-finals.