'Semi-final feels special', says Stafanie Taylor
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Stafanie Taylor is looking forward to tomorrow, calling it one of the biggest days of her cricket career, as West Indies women prepare to face Australia women in the semi-final of the ICC World T20 tournament at the Premadasa Stadium.
The day is special for the 21-year-old allrounder and made even more special by the fact that the West Indies men will play at the same ground just moments later when they take on Australia men in the semi-finals.
"Everybody is really excited. It is great that the men are also playing in the semi-final against Australia. It is going to be a great day and we are really looking forward to it and we are working really hard," Taylor said.
"The fact that both matches are on Friday makes it really special. The men are supporting us 100 per cent and we are also behind them. We hope that we both make it through to the finals."
Taylor added: "I think it is going to be a tough game and we know that Australia will come hard at us. I know they are thinking the same about us too.
"With the game taking place just before the men's match would mean better crowds to witness the contest. It is also an opportunity for the players to showcase their talent to the television audience, as it would be broadcast across several continents.
"Everybody will have a chance to see what the women can actually do. Lots of people may have heard about the West Indies ladies' team, but not many will have had a chance to watch us play so this is a great opportunity," she said.
Taylor is the leading women's cricketer in the world. Last year she copped the ICC Women's Cricketer-of-the-Year Award and last month won the ICC ODI Player-of-the-Year 2012 Award.
So far in the tournament she has been in good form and won the Player-of-the-Match Award in the victory over South Africa, which helped the Windies to top Group B and make it through for the semi-finals.
West Indies won by 10 wickets and Taylor topscored with 33 not out. In the process she became the first West Indian woman to make 1,000 runs in T20 Internationals. She is also the only West Indian woman to make over 1,000 runs in ODIs.
Earlier in the match, she took three wickets with her off-spin and is now the leading wicket-taker in the ICC Women's World T20 with six wickets at an average of just 7.16 runs per wicket.
"The Sri Lanka game was pretty intense and I think we panicked a bit. Coming down to the last game against South Africa we knew it was a do-or-die game. I think we produce better results when we are under pressure generally and we are just hoping we will do well," Taylor said.
"We had to win against South Africa and we went out with the thought to make them pay. We qualified for the semis and we will look to take it from here."
Squad: Merissa Aguilleira (captain), Stafanie Taylor (vice-captain), Shemaine Campbell, Britney Cooper, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Anisa Mohammed, Subrina Munroe, Juliana Nero, Shaquana Quintyne, Shakera Selman, Tremayne Smartt.