At 24, Stafanie Taylor has already played two World T20 semi-finals and a 50-over World Cup final. And lost them all. In Sunday’s final, Taylor’s West Indies will be up against Australia to whom they have lost all eight previous T20Is. Not for nothing did she say that the West Indies have nothing to lose.
The West Indies made the semi-finals in the last two World T20s, in 2012 and 2014, and were runners-up in the 50-over World Cup in 2013. Each time though they went down to Australia who have an all-win record in this edition.
While Taylor did say Australia play fearlessly, if she was thinking like former England footballer Gary Lineker when they kept losing to Germany, she didn’t show it. Lineker had said: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.
“We are not intimidated at all… We definitely want to grasp this and win the Cup for the first time. Australia have won it three times and if things go their way, it will be their fourth,” said Taylor before the West Indies’ first World T20 final.
Taylor’s been the West Indies’ most successful batter and bowler (187 runs and 8 wickets) in this edition and has also hit 16 boundaries. Only Charlotte Edwards of Australia has scored more (202).
Australia skipper Meg Lanning too made light of the head-to-head record. “I don’t think anything of the past will count tomorrow. The team that settles the quickest and gets into rhythm will probably start off the best… We are going to make sure we will do everything right from the start,” she said.
“It will be difficult to compare this to the past three times. We’re a very competitive side and we want to win anything that we do. The hunger is as high as it has been.”
Lanning has been Australia’s most successful batter in this tournament, aggregating 149.
Taylor said it would be difficult to explain what getting into the men’s and women’s finals mean to West Indies. “Ever since it’s happened, we’ve been talking about it. We’re just hanging out with the guys… For us to get this one would be like a dream come true because we’ve kept getting knocked out in the semi-finals,” she said.