WWT20: Dottin dissects Bangladesh as West Indies take self-discharge
By Avenash Ramzan
That’s all it took for Deandra Dottin to degut an already spineless Bangladesh batting line-up and ignite defending champions West Indies to a memorable win in the Women’s World T20 on Friday night at Providence.
West Indies, on crutches and bandage at the halfway stage with a discouraging reading of 106-8, took self-discharge, and almost impulsively proceeded to don the surgical gowns, as if to prove a point.
The room was instantly activated, as specialist Dottin, with apparatus in hand, dissected a frail and aching patient, taking it off life support, fast-tracking its demise.
A loss in the opening match for the defending champions playing at home would be nothing short of humiliating, especially when the embarrassment is delivered by a group that had to qualify to be among the 10 nations on show.
Eight overs into the chase, Bangladesh were already gasping at 28-3 with dot balls creating a major blockage; Shekera Selman delivering 18 such pills in her four-over spell.
With a climbing run rate and the 5,427 spectators upping their decibels with easy dot ball delivered, Dottin was handed the ‘white cherry’.
It seemed an instinctive move by skipper Stafanie Taylor to call on the Bajan instead of the team’s ace surgeon, spinner Anisa Mohammed.
But, what would unfold had even Mohammed running, jumping and high-fiving, the Bangladeshi batters walking back and forth, and probably the legendary Sir Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose wearing a wry smile back in Swetes Village, Antigua.
Off the second delivery, Dottin induced Fargana Hoque to go for the big shot, cramping her for room and completing the formalities with a simple caught and bowl.
Simple became exhilarating in the next 10 minutes, as Dottin shattered the stumps of Nigar Sultana two balls later and inflicted a similar mode of dismissal in her next over, sending back Rumana Ahmed and Lata Mondal within the space of two deliveries to reduce the Asian side to tatters at 35-7.
Those deliveries would make Sir Curtly proud, for they encapsulated what he stood for throughout a decorated career: pace and accuracy.
Afy Fletcher made it 37-8 by breaching the defence of Sanjida Islam, before Dottin took aim at the top of Khadija Tul Kubra’s middle stumps to finish with 5-5, the best figures for West Indies in Women’s T20Is and also in all Women’s World T20s.
An absurd run out ended Bangladesh’s innings and quite fittingly summed up their batting effort, if ever there was an attempt at one. 46 all out is now the lowest score in Women’s World T20 history.
There were two maidens and 11 single-figure scores, a bizarre stat even in the Women’s game.
At the break, Bangladesh were hoping to be on the better side of history: a victory against the defending champions would be the perfect start to their campaign and they had, up until that point, fancied their chances of a famous win.
West Indies seemed uncomfortable batting on familiar home turf, but they were not totally to be blamed.
Bangladesh bowlers exploited the conditions well, and West Indies didn’t help their cause when Hayley Matthews lobbed a catch to mid-off and fellow opener Dottin slapped the next ball straight to point to make it 14-2.
Hometown girl Shemaine Campbelle averted the hat-trick, but that was her only consolation on the night, as she was trapped leg before for one at 18-3.
It soon became 50-5 with Natasha McLean and Britney Cooper back in the dugout, before Taylor and Kycia Knight added 37 for the sixth wicket to avoid the ignominy of being dismissed within the stipulated overs.
Knight and Cooper made 32 and 29 respectively to push the total beyond 100, a psychological barrier in the grand scheme of things.
As it turned out, it was more than enough. West Indies were the ones smiling 90 minutes later.
Bangladesh, by contrast, were left to rue leaving their wounds exposed to a rampaging Dottin, who was, by her very demeanour, in no mood to offer a healing hand.
Her deportment nevertheless, meant the partisan West Indies fans left without the chronic heartache that has become synonymous with the game in these quarters.