Windies girls are the champs!

Potchefstroom, South Africa -- West Indies proved themselves to be the best Twenty20 side at the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge when they defeated Sri Lanka in the final of the Twenty20 section of the tournament today. The West Indians made it to the finals of the Twenty20 by virtue of beating the Netherlands by 99 runs earlier in the day.

Merissa Aguilleira had won the toss and chosen to bat in that match, posting a mammoth total of 191-4 in its allotted 20 overs with Stacy-Ann King top scoring with 81 off 47 balls and thus earning herself another Player of the Match award. Another poor performance with the bat saw The Netherlands’ innings include five run-outs, which inevitably cost the team the game. Carlijn de Groot was the highest run scorer with 22 of 31 balls, while the side were all out for a mere 92 runs.

The girls from the Caribbean moved on to the finals against Sri Lanka, which had won both its matches on day one of the T20I’s to qualify for the final, and it was with ease that Aguilleira’s side defeated Shashikala Siriwardene’s team by eight wickets and with 56 balls to spare.  Having won the toss, Sri Lanka elected to bat on what appeared to be batter-friendly wicket but the West Indies bowling attack came charging in with Tremayne Smartt bowling Sajeewani Galagedera out for a duck in the fifth ball of the match.

Polgamola Kumarihami, who tried to hold the innings together, managed a 26-run partnership with Suvini de Alwis and later a 21-run partnership with Sandamali Dolawatta before she was dismissed in the eighth over by the talented King. Sri Lanka went on to lose wicket after wicket, the West Indian bowlers proving too good for them, finishing with a paltry 83-9 at the end of its 20 overs. West Indies made quick work of the Sri Lankan bowling attack, with Juliana Nero (28 not out) and Deandra Dottin, who made a quick-fire 39 off 22 balls, helping their side to an eight-wicket victory and top spot in the tournament.

West Indies Sherwin Campbell was delighted with the win: “This is our favourite format of the game, the team seem to take to it very easily and I am happy they could produce a win today.”  Sri Lanka’s coach Harsha de Silva was disappointed at the extent of his team’s loss: “We were to blame (for the loss), those five run-outs were needless but I am happy we have come this far.”