West Indies Women won only two matches in World Cup © Getty Images
West Indies Women won only two matches in World Cup © Getty Images

Winner of the ICC Women’s World T20 2016, West Indies carried a lot of expectations on their shoulders as they participated in the major event of Women’s World Cup 2017. However, it was a year when they played down the expectations. Here’s looking back to how the West Indies Women’s team fared in 2017.

Ahead of the World Cup, West Indies Women had a couple of warm-up matches — against Pakistan and South Africa. West Indies managed a par score of 246 for 7 against Pakistan. Felicia Walters was the only batter to score a half-century. But their bowling remained even more disappointing. Though they managed not to let the top three score big, the bowlers failed in front of Bismah Maroof and Nain Abidi’s skilful batting. Their 141-run partnership took Pakistan to victory with 2.2 overs remaining.

West Indies’ batting performance was thoroughly disappointing in the next match. Masabata Klaas’ 4 wickets bundled them for 63, a target South Africa reached within 19 overs. Amidst all this, Anisa Mohammed’s bowling remained impressive.

West Indies walked into the World Cup with two defeats behind them, and faced the strength of Australia and India up front. They were off to a decent start against Australia despite losing Felicia early. Unfortunately, they crumbled once Deandra Dottin departed: as Jess Jonassen, Ellyse Perry and Kirsten Beams excelled with ball, West Indies collapsed from 157 for 3 to 204.

Apart from Stafanie Taylor, no other West Indies bowlers managed any wicket. Beth Mooney (70) and Nicole Bolton (107*) cruised the team to victory with 11.5 overs to spare.

India restricted West Indies for an even smaller score, 183 for 8, after the middle-order faltered yet again. Hayley Matthews and the lower-order batters strove hard but could not take the team to a safe score. Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten century took India to victory after two top-order batters fell early.

West Indies perished to South Africa yet again. This time, Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail knocked out the top-order, Dane van Niekerk took a ridiculous 4 for 0, and West Indies were bundled out for 48, of which Chadean Nation scored 23. South Africa took only 6.2 overs to reach the target.

Three back-to-back defeats brought West Indies close to elimination. The defeat against New Zealand ensured it. Yet another disappointment from the West Indies batters, who could not survive the rage of Lea Tahuhu and Leigh Kasperek, getting all out for 150. Only Kyshona Knight in the middle order showed some defence, putting up 41. New Zealand later handed them an 8-wicket defeat.

West Indies managed only two victories in the tournament. Against Sri Lanka they defended 229 thanks to Anisa’s impressive bowling. They also won the rain-curtailed fixture against Pakistan by 19 runs. Deandra finally shone, scoring an unbeaten 104, Stafanie’s 90 was a commendable effort.

However, West Indies could not hold on to the momentum and ended with a defeat to England. Bowling first, they pulled off an impressive job of restricting their opponents at 220 for 7. Afy Fletcher picked up 3 for 33. But they could not chase the runs, thanks to Natalie Sciver and the rest of England’s bowling attack, finishing with 128 for 9.

West Indies’ last assignment before the year ended was their home series against Sri Lanka. They won both the ODIs and T20Is outright, and pulled off a 6-0 whitewash. Stafanie scored 157 runs and bagged 8 wickets from the ODIs. Afy bagged a 5-for in the second T20I while Deandra became the first female cricketer to score more multiple T20I centuries.

Though West Indies Women ended 2017 on a high, they will have to remember that Sri Lanka are not a major side in Women’s cricket. They will have to draw inspiration from the victories and move forward with a goal to maintain consistency and achieve more.