Who do you turn to when six are needed from the final over but with the momentum and the belief perhaps slipping away you, resting with the bowling side?
Well, if you are Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin, two of the most devastating talents from the West Indian shores, you don’t go with your experienced seam attack.
You take to onus to win over your own shoulders.
Others would call this a gamble. But you stay on with the hunch. For it’s not a hunch you see; it’s self belief.
Make no mistake. For if the consequence of this very slippery situation is the fall, then it’ll be you who’ll have to carry the burden of the cross.
But then no resurrection is possible minus the fall, right?
So the West Indian think tank in a mad hat of a 2022 Women’s World Cup opener went for the kill. They handed the ball to Deandra Dottin.
The new the peril dangers of the risk and the risk was no small one; owing to an onerous period of recovery given her injuries, Dottin hadn’t bowled in the last nine one dayers.
But something had to give in.
The White Ferns needed a run a ball in the last over, Katey Martin was all set to steer a win for the Kiwis which was within their grasp.
Katey Martin smashed two fours in the previous over (49th) mercilessly taking pressure of the Kiwis.
The genuine all-rounder only bowled four times after her shoulder surgery in June 2019 that kept her away from cricket for a year. Since then she bowled only in four occasions and that too in a home series against South Africa in September 2021 at Coolidge and North Stand.
Deandra Dottin had to either defend the total of 6-runs or get 3-wickets. She instead preferred to decimate New Zealand in the match winning spell of hers. The win required this experienced pro to pull off a spectacle.
As the over took off, a single was conceded of Dottin’s first ball, which is when Martin had to face the second ball. After a full length ball in the previous ball, she bowled a Yorker that stayed low and Martin missed the line and adjudged out for LBW. Martin had to depart apart of a fighting 44.
Amid the massive pressure to have pitched the picture perfect Yorker to get the well established Martin out plumb was Mad Max kind of stuff that only a Dottin could’ve pulled off.
But the game was anything but over. Jess Kerr’s cameo with the bat was the last hope for Kiwis to get to 260. Hana Rowe gave the strike back to Kerr to see off the final deliveries. Kerr wanted to clear the mid-off, but ended uppulling a shot directly to the hands of Chinelle Henry.
The next ball led to irreparable chaos. It was mad. A total mix-up between batters that led Dottin to dismantle the stumps before Fran Jonas could reach the crease, the spinner having run the halfway mark to the pitch in the wake of a single off a bye that wasn’t there .
This led to absolute scenes at the Bay Oval. It was pandemic in the Windies camp, but defeating silence in the Kiwis.’
This run-out sealed the match for Windies and the victory by 3-runs.
Before the final over even began, just who’d have given the Windies a chance. But Dottin creates opportunities when there are none.
This win will boost the morale and confidence in the West Indies camp as they have stunned the one among the tournament’s favourites- haven’t they?
This win was setup initially by a spectacular, very elegant ton by Hayley Matthews when Windies were put to bat first after losing the toss. The cameos by Cheaden Nation and Anisa Mohammed pushed the total to 259.
Dottin missed out with the bat earlier when she was dismissed for 12. But she made up for the lost opportunity with the bat.
But it’s her heroics with the ball not with her usual weapon of destruction, i.e. the bat for which Dottin will be remembered for the day. And always. Remember the day- March 4, 2022 and the Bajan magic.
– with inputs from Dev Tyagi