West Indies Women captain Stafanie Taylor said she was relieved to finally score her sixth One-Day International hundred, following an eight-year drought.
The right-hander hit a superb unbeaten 105 off 116 deliveries on Wednesday as her side easily chased down a target of 206 to beat Pakistan Women by five wickets at Coolidge Cricket Ground in the opening ODI of the five-match series.
Taylor’s last ODI hundred came back in 2013 against New Zealand Women at Sabina Park in her hometown Kingston, and while she entered the 90s five times since, she never managed to reach triple figures.
“It’s a great feeling. I’ve been dreaming of this day, to finally pass that five hundreds and make it six. I’m really happy,” said an elated Taylor who arrived at the crease with West Indies stumbling on 42 for two in the 12th over and guided her side to victory.
“I said to myself that I know that I’m always in this position [of rescuing the team]. I like batting in 50-over games so it’s a matter of getting myself in and I know once I get myself in, and there’s someone else down at the bottom, we should get the runs.”
Sent in, Pakistan Women compiled 205 for nine off their 50 overs with Nida Dar stroking 55 and opener Ayesha Zafar hitting 46 in a 70-run opening stand with Muneeba Ali who stroked 36.
Taylor was the best bowler, finishing with three for 29 from ten overs of off-spin.
And having seen such totals trip her side up in recent series, Taylor said her focus was on making sure West Indies got over the line, with her personal landmark secondary.
“It was more about getting to that target. I think the runs [we were chasing] were on the forefront of my mind, not the hundred but I’m happy to get it in the end,” she noted.
Along the way, Taylor inspired several key partnerships, posting 33 for the third wicket with Kycia Knight (19), 46 for the fourth wicket with Deandra Dottin (9) and a further 46 for the fifth with Chedean Nation (23).
However, it was her 42 off 34 deliveries in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand with Britney Cooper, which really entertained, as the hosts accelerated the tempo of the run chase.
Though scoring only 17 off 21 deliveries, Cooper looked in great touch and an exquisite inside-out drive over extra cover for one of her three boundaries, was one of the shots of the day.
“I just said to her ‘just be calm, believe in yourself and pick your areas,’” Taylor explained.
“[I told her] ‘there are plenty gaps. Get yourself in and once you feel good you know that you can blast.’”
The second ODI is scheduled for the same venue on Friday.