T&T Red Force Divas’ captain, Merissa Aguilleira, is confident that her team can overcome the impressive Barbados team in today’s Regional Women’s Super50 final at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. First ball is 9.30 am.
After what Aguilleira considers a ‘mishap’ in their first game, where they lost to the Barbadians, she believes the team has exhibited the necessary skills and temperament to retain their title, won last year in Guyana. It has definitely shown in the results, as their record thereafter remains unblemished, with their latest victory coming at the expense of the Windwards on Friday.
She thinks due to the wealth of experience in both squads, we are bound to have a fantastic final encounter. However, Aguilleira insists that if her team sticks to their tasks and are efficient in all aspects of their game, they will come out on top. Batting for long periods is one thing she stressed on (which was reiterated by her T&T and West Indian teammate Britney Cooper), as the players and coaching staff believe that in a tournament like this, spending time at the wicket almost guarantees you big scores. With most matches turning out to be low-scoring affairs in this year’s competition, this key component could prove to be the difference between the eventual winners and the disappointed finalists.
The Regional Women’s Super50 2016 was not necessarily successful, majority of the matches were rained out and T&T only played one game. This game was against Barbados and proved to essentially be the final. Aguilleira has no doubt in her mind that revenge is on Barbados’ mind coming into this encounter.
She said, “They will have it in the back of their minds that last year they wanted the Championship so badly and we took it away.” Aguilleira was also quite adamant that she holds deep belief in all of her players’ ability, because they are “really good and experienced players, who know how to cross the line.”
The competition itself comes at a crucial time for the West Indies women, as the regional team is preparing for the Women’s World Cup, to be held in England in June. There have been some deficiencies in the batting department for quite a few teams.
Stafanie Taylor made 89 in Jamaica’s final encounter, a score which only seven players have managed to amass throughout the tournament. However, we have seen some dominant performances from the likes of Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin of Barbados, and Britney Cooper and Stacy Ann King from T&T which are good signs, considering these ladies are all a part of the West Indies setup.
Performances with the ball have been exceptional so far however, with spinner, Afy Fletcher of the Windwards, leading the pack on 15 wickets. Hayley Matthews and Shamelia Connell have been excellent for Barbados, picking up 13 and 12 wickets respectively, with spin-twins Anisa Mohammed and Karishma Ramharack getting the job done for the T&T side, equally splitting 18 wickets between them.