Gutsy West Indies defied the odds to beat Australia, yesterday, and book their place in the final of the Women's World Cup for the first time.
Facing defeat after being dismissed for a paltry 164 in 47 overs, the Caribbean team dug deep, found the courage and resolve to shockingly bundle out the Aussies for 156 off 48.2 overs, and snatch a narrow eight-run victory in their final Super Six, second round game.
It was the first time West Indies had beaten Australia in a One-Day International and ironically, will now face them again in Sunday's final for the cherished title of world champions.
Australia clinched their place in the final on Sunday when they defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets.
Yesterday, Australia were coasting seemingly towards victory at 130 for four in the 39th over when they suddenly ran aground, losing their last six wickets for 26 runs.
Off-spinner Stafanie Taylor proved her weight in gold with the ball, snatching two for 26 from her ten overs to ignite the collapse. Left-arm spinner Shanel Daley had earlier removed both openers to finish with three for 22.
Earlier, choosing to bat first at the Middle Income Group Ground, West Indies owed their survival to aggressive batsman Deandra Dottin who slammed a typically exciting 60 from 67 balls to rally the innings.
With the innings floundering badly from the start, Dottin arrived at number seven to strike ten fours and a six and give her side a much needed boost.
She posted 43 for the eighth wicket with 17-year-old Shaquana Quintyne whose 15 from 48 balls was equally invaluable, preventing the Aussies from mopping up the tail swiftly.
The Windies were undermined by 17-year-old fast bowler Holly Ferling who helped wipe out the top order with three for 27, and fellow seamer Megan Schutt who finished with three for 50.
Already with a loss to Australia in a warm-up fixture, West Indies again started tentatively and lost wickets at regular intervals to slip to 36 for three in the 11th over, despite Natasha McClean's brisk 26 from 34 balls.
They then lost the prolific pair of Taylor (5) and Kyshona Knight (8) in quick succession to further slide to 59 for five in the 19th over.
Dottin and captain Merissa Aguilleira (7) added 27 for the sixth wicket, the first meaningful partnership of the game, but Aguilleira and Daley then fell within 11 balls of each other with six runs added to reduce the Windies to 92 for seven.
However, Dottin and Quintyne then combined to give their side a fighting chance.
West Indies started their defence strongly when Daley knocked over Meg Lanning without scoring in the second over with the score on one.
Two critical partnerships then lifted the Aussies. Alex Blackwell (45) and Jess Cameron (39) put on 47 for the third wicket before Blackwell added a further 41 for the fifth wicket with captain Jodie Fields (18).
With victory in sight, Taylor trapped Blackwell lbw in the 39th over and fast bowler Tremayne Smartt accounted for Fields in the next over. 130 for six.
When Julie Hunter was run out without scoring eight balls later to leave Australia on 131 for seven, West Indies knew they were in with a sniff. Taylor struck again to put them en route to the final.
West Indies Women
vs Australia Women
J Nero c Fields b Schutt 1
N McLean lbw b Ferling 26
S Campbelle lbw b Schutt 0
Kyshona Knight c Fields b Ferling 8
S Taylor b Ferling 5
M Aguilleira c Cameron b Sthalekar 7
D Dottin b Osborne 60
S Daley b Schutt 4
S Quintyne c Sthalekar b Osborne 15
A Mohammed not out 5
T Smartt c Haynes b Hunter 10
Extras: (b 5, lb 3, w 15) 23
TOTAL: (10 wkts; 47 overs) 164
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Nero, 4.6 ov), 2-31 (Campbelle, 8.5 ov), 3-36 (McLean, 10.4 ov), 4-53 (Taylor, 14.6 ov), 5-59 (Kyshona A Knight, 18.3 ov), 6-86 (Aguilleira, 23.1 ov), 7-92 (Daley, 24.6 ov), 8-135 (Dottin, 35.3 ov), 9-151 (Quintyne, 41.5 ov), 10-164 (Smartt, 46.6 ov)
Bowling: Schutt 10-1-50-3 (6w), Hunter 8-2-22-1, Ferling 7-1-27-3 (8w), Sthalekar 10-2-24-1 (1w), Osborne 9-4-16-2, Chappell 3-0-17-0
M Lanning b Daley 0
R Haynes C Kyshona A Knight b Daley 21
J Cameron b Quintyne 39
A Blackwell lbw b Taylor 45
L Sthalekar run out (Campbelle) 6
J Fields c Nero b Smartt 18
E Osborne c Aguilleira b Daley 19
J Hunter run out (Mohammed) 0
R Chappell lbw b Taylor 3
M Schutt run out (Daley) 1
H Ferling not out 0
Extras: (lb 3, nb 1) 4
TOTAL: (10 wkts 48.2 overs) 156
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Lanning, 1.5 ov), 2-32 (Haynes, 11.3 ov), 3-79 (Cameron, 23.5 ov), 4-89 (Sthalekar, 25.6 ov), 5-130 (Blackwell, 38.5 ov), 6-130 (Fields, 39.4 ov), 7-131 (Hunter, 40.6 ov), 8-140 (Chappell, 44.1 ov), 9-156 (Schutt, 47.5 ov), 10-156 (Osborne, 48.2 ov)
Bowling: Smart 10-4-22-1 (1nb), Daley 9.2- 1-22-3, Taylor 10-1-26-2, Mohammed 9-2-38-0,Dottin 4-0-16-0, Quintyne 6-0-29-1
Result: West Indies won by 8 runs.
Points:West Indies Women 2, Australia Women 0.
Player-of-the-match: Deandra Dottin
Toss: West Indies Women
Umpires: Kathleen Cross, Shaun George