Sun | Feb 28, 2021

‘Even keel’ - Coley cautiously optimistic about Windies Women’s chances against England

Published:Monday | September 21, 2020 | 12:14 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer

West Indies Women Interim head coach Andre Coley says his charges will need to show up with the bat in a significant way if his side is to challenge England in the Vitality Twenty20 (T20) International series, which gets under way with the first match in Derby today.

The Windies Women have had just over two weeks of preparation as International women’s cricket resumes after more than six months of inactivity.

The Stafanie Taylor-led sixth-ranked Windies will face off with Heather Knight and the world number-two-ranked England team, which will start as favourites in the five-match series.

Despite going down to England in the T20 World Cup in March, Coley says it is evenly poised for both teams, which have not had cricket for some time now.

“We are very happy that our preparations have gone well, and we are positive about the outcomes of this series,” Coley said. “We are very upbeat, and what is left for us now is to play.”

The Windies Women will be banking heavily on the bat of skipper Taylor, Hayley Matthews, and Deandra Dottin, who has fully recovered from injury. The big-hitting Lee-Ann Kirby could also play a key role at the top of the batting order as Coley explained what could be the determining factor in the outcome of the series.

“White ball cricket, specifically T20 cricket, is about scoring runs,” he said. “If you watch the history of our cricket, our bowling department has always held its own and has been very competitive. We will need to post challenging totals and be able to chase them as well.”

England will have plenty of experience to pull on with captain Knight, Natalie Sciver, and Tammy Beaumont all eager to get the series under way.

Despite dominating the West Indies in their last encounter, Sciver remembered 2018 when the West Indies beat England at the T20 World Cup in St Lucia, where the wicket is similar to the one they will play on in Derby.

“We can never take West Indies lightly,” she said. “They’ve got people who can change the game all the way down the order with the bat, and once they get a few wickets in a row, they just squeeze you and make it really difficult for you as a team.

“They’re a great opposition and one that you can’t take lightly at all. As a team, we’ve got to be ruthless right until the end.”

The match bowls off at 12 p.m. Jamaica time.