Taylor hoping for birthday joy as West Indies girls open campaign

TAUNTON, England -- West Indies allrounder Stafanie Taylor will be looking for a big birthday gift on Thursday when the International Cricket Council’s Women’s World Twenty20 Championship bowls off.

The right-handed opener who also bowls clever off-spin will be celebrating her 18th birthday as the Windies face South Africa at the Somerset County Ground, Taunton in the first match of this major international tournament. First ball is at noon (7 am Eastern Caribbean Time/6 am Jamaica Time).

“When I first heard that the tournament would be played in June, I was hoping that somehow I would be able to play a match on my birthday. Now it is about to happen and I’m really excited and looking forward to this match,” said the Jamaican high school student.

“I would love to have a big birthday. At the moment I am batting well and hitting the ball with power. In the bowling department I would say I am up to scratch and I will again be looking to get the ball in the right areas.”

Taylor’s highest score in a T20 International is 90 made against Ireland last year and she will be looking to top that when she faces the South African bowlers.

“My aim is to better the 90 I made last year. That would be a great birthday gift for me and it would be great to perform and lead the team to a victory,” she said.

The West Indies girls had an excellent build-up to the tournament beating Sri Lanka by 26 runs on Monday and defeating Pakistan by 44 runs on Tuesday.

“We have played well in the two matches so far and we aim to keep up the good work. We have been looking at all our plans and trying to get everything in the right working order. The match against South Africa will be crucial and we will be keen to get off to a very good start,” Taylor added.

This is the first World Twenty20 for women and the West Indies have been drawn in Group A alongside Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The other group is made up of India, England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

SQUAD: Merissa Aguilleira (Captain), Kirbyina Alexander (Vice Captain), Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Cordel Jack, Stacy-Ann King, Pamela Lavine, Debbie-Ann Lewis, Anisa Mohammed, Juliana Nero, Shakera Selman, Danielle Small, Charlene Taitt, Stafanie Taylor; Patricia Greenidge (Manager); Sherwin Campbell (Coach), Jacqueline King-Mowatt (Physiotherapist), Shannon Lashley (Fitness and Conditioning Co-ordinator)

Tournament matches at Taunton
Thursday, June 11: vs South Africa at noon
Saturday, June 13 vs New Zealand at noon
Sunday, June 14 vs Australia at noon
Thursday, June 18: 1st Semi-final at Trent Bridge – 130 pm
Friday, June 19: 2nd Semi-final at the Oval – 130 pm
Sunday, June 21: FINAL at Lord’s – 1030 am