Women's World Cup: Dottin's rescue act shows her class again

by Pulasta Dhar  Feb 13, 2013 12:39 IST

#Cricket   #Deandra Dottin   #ICC Women's World Cup   #West Indies  

At the 2006 junior CARIFTA Games, she won a gold medal in javelin and a silver in shot put. In the 2007 edition, she won gold medals in javelin, shot put and Discus Throw. In 2008, she completed her hat-trick of javelin golds representing Barbados.

By the time the ICC World T20 came in 2010, she was smashing a cricket ball out of the park.

Deandra Dottin is no ordinary athlete.

She scored the first ever T20 century by a woman cricketer. It was also the fastest ever — including men's cricket (38-balls). She has also scored the fastest and third fastest fifty in T20 internationals (22 and 26 balls respectively).

Dottin has been a start for the West Indies in WWC13. Getty Images

Dottin has been a start for the West Indies in WWC13. Getty Images

At the 2013 ICC Women's World Cup, she is third in the list of top scorers with 204 runs at an average of 34 and a strike-rate of 136. She tops the charts of most number of sixes (10) too.

But those are not her only achievements -- she came to India with a reputation to defend and will leave having justified every tag given to her.

Dottin is also sixth in the list of top wicket-takers at the WWC13, having taken nine wickets.

Being such an immense talent, there's no doubt that Dottin will continue breaking records and be an integral part of a resurgent West Indies women's cricket team.

What is surprising about her is that her skill is not limited. She isn't just a slogger. She knows how to play the subtle shots as well, take the quick singles and has a knack of playing important knocks when it matters most.

Against Australia at the MIG ground today, Dottin came in when WI were 59-5 after 18.3 overs — not a score you'd like to be at when playing in the final is at stake.

The first six balls she faced read like this: 0-4-4-0-4-0. Evidently, she quickly settles down too.

In an innings against Sri Lanka, Dottin had hit a six which almost landed inside a flat surrounding the MIG. But today, there was more careful approach. Her shots were crisp, no-risk and quite a few of her boundaries came with shots that didn't leave the ground -- fizzing through the quick outfield rather than sailing through the air.

Dottin took the sting off the Aussie bowlers — and at a time when it looked like their confidence would still get the better of her, she produced two lovely glances through fine-leg to keep the scoreboard ticking.

By the time Merissa Aguilleira decided to wastefully slog-sweep, WI had considerably recovered -- from 59-5 to 86-6. When Dottin was finally dismissed, she had taken them from 59-5 in 18.3 overs to 135-8 after 35.3 overs -- scoring 60 runs from 67 balls with nine fours and a six over mid-wicket.

But West Indies will believe that they at least have a chance -- 164 can be an oddly dangerous total.

When India took on West Indies in the opening match, Dottin may not have been able to win them the game, but Mithali Raj was honest enough to admit that she felt some nerves when she got going: "The only time I thought we may lose the game was when Dottin got going. I wonder where she gets all that strength from!?"

That night, Dottin had scored 39 runs from just 16 balls — hammering the Indians for three fours and four sixes.

She followed it up with an irresistable fifty against Sri Lanka (22 balls, 5x4, 4x6) and figures of 3/24 against England after she failed with the bat.

She is a cricketer with character -- many call her the Chris Gayle of women's cricket -- performing with the ball when she cannot bat well and usually scoring a few quick runs down the order. Till Dottin isn't dismissed, West Indies know they have hope.

Meanwhile, the player everyone was talking about before the start of the tournament — Sarah Taylor — has scored three ducks and a 35.

Deandra Dottin, folks, is the star of women's cricket and the scary fact is that she's just 21.

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