West Indies women desperate for T20 World Cup win over Ireland on Friday

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chedan Nation of West Indies plays a shot as Richa Ghosh of India keeps during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup group B match at Newlands Stadium on Wednesday in Cape Town, South Africa. Image source: ICC

THE West Indies women’s team are in desperate need of back-to-back wins from their two remaining matches if they are to have any hope of securing an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final spot.

The maroon team lost their two opening matches against England and India and are now fourth in the Group B standings, with two games – against Ireland on Friday (1pm TT time) and Pakistan on Sunday (9am) – to play.

Only the top two nations from each group advance to the semis, so West Indies women are desperate for a win. However, victories in their two remaining matches do not guarantee a semi-final spot, since group leaders England and India are unbeaten so far.

In Wednesday’s defeat to India, Stafanie Taylor was stretchered off the field, and skipper Hayley Matthews suffered a shoulder injury late on in the game.

Coach Courtney Walsh is optimistic that his captain will be fit to play, with the Windies needing a victory in Cape Town to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages.

He said, “Hayley came off the field and was a very major concern for us, but the good news this morning is that she has rested well and the next 24 hours you will know. She is a lot more positive than the others, so it’s a good sign.

“She is a fighter. She is tough, you know, we have got some good fighters in the set-up, but Hayley’s one. She knows her body well and she will struggle a little bit. I think she’ll be okay.”

While the news on Matthews was positive, the update on Taylor, who has been troubled by a back injury in recent times, was less definitive.

Walsh added, “She’s still on the medical tier. She’s been rested, evaluated. still, but the most important thing is to make sure the athlete is okay.

“We’re taking every precaution that is necessary to ensure her health comes first and then once we get the updates on that, we can sort of look to progress.”

Walsh confirmed it will be tough to reach the semi-finals. Additionally, he is keen for the 2016 champions to get back to winning ways after a run of 15 successive defeats.

“We have two matches to play and we’re still looking to win those two games. That’s the only way we’re going to have any slight outside chance.

“But I think with the way India and England have played, obviously they’re way ahead in the zone. We’ll start to do what we can to try and win our two remaining games and then see where it takes us from there. But at this point in time, I would say India and England, they have gone out in front.”

Walsh believes South Africa has good conditions for cricket, and opted not to use this as an excuse for the string of losses.

“I thought we had a reasonable good start with the bat (against India), but we just didn’t capitalise on it on the end. We had a run-out again that I think…cost us a couple more runs. But I think the way the ladies went at us at the start we had with Shemaine Campbelle was pretty decent.

“We just didn’t sort of finish at the end with the impetus that we wanted to. If we had gotten 140. I’m not saying we would have won us the game, but that’s what we were hoping to get, at least 140, 150.”