Unbeaten so far, a confident New Zealand cricket team will start favourite against the erratic West Indians when the two sides fight it out in the second semifinal of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Mumbai on Thursday.
The Kiwi women, ranked third in the world, are on a roll in the tournament, having beaten South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Sri Lanka -- all with convincing margins -- on their way to the clash.
New Zealand are, thus, clear favourites to win on Thursday against the no 5 ranked Windies.
Windies women have had a roller-coaster ride to the last four, losing two games out of five.
New Zealand, runners-up in 2009 and 2010, have depended on captain Suzie Bates, Rachel Priest -- both with over 100 runs to their credit -- and Sophie Devine in the batting department.
Leigh Kasparek, with nine victims, has been their best bowler in the league stage of the competition, with good support received from Erin Bermingham and Devine.
West Indies have expectedly leaned mostly on their experienced skipper Stafanie Taylor (162 runs from 4 games), in batting, along with all-rounder Deandra Dottin, with the bat as well as the ball, in their progress.
However, it will take a very special effort by the Caribbeans to edge past the on-a-roll New Zealand.
The rival teams (from):
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (Capt.), Sophie Devine, Erin Bermingham, Leigh Kasparek, Felicity Leydon-Davis, Sara McGlashan, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hanna Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahahu.
West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (Capt.), Shakera Selman, Marissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Stacy Ann-King, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt