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Preist helps New Zealand to win over West Indies

Western Storm wicket keeper Rachel Priest smashed a blistering 90 off 55 balls as New Zealand cruised to an eight-wicket victory over the West Indies in Taunton.

For the second successive game, the West Indies struggled after being put in to bat, and while this was an improvement on the 48 scored against South Africa, 150 all out was nowhere near enough.

Leigh Kasperek was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of three for 17 off her 10 overs as the West Indies struggled to get her away.

Priest and Suzie Bates then put on 120 for the opening wicket in a chase that took just 18.2 overs to push New Zealand into the top four after four games.

White Ferns skipper Bates said: “We didn’t plan the fast-paced chase. Priest was hitting it out of the park and that’s how she plays so we let her do that.

“Having a small total let us do that. We started outstanding with the ball, we have some really experienced players and they put their hands up today and set the game’s tone for us.

“It’s important to get those really big partnerships. Leigh Kasperek showed us she deserves to be in there. It’s exciting to see her and Amelia Kerr bowling well.”

Bates decided to put the West Indies in to bat and that decision was quickly vindicated as Lea Tahuhu took two early wickets including the dangerous Hayley Matthews for nine.

A recovery of sorts from Stafanie Taylor and Chedean Nation ensured there would be no repeat of the 48 all out.

But Kasperek removed Taylor on her return to the attack, with Deandra Dottin going next ball, caught and bowled, as things fell apart once again.

Nation followed as the West Indies lost three wickets for no run, slumping to 53 for five.

Kyshona Knight provided the only real resistance, firing 41 as partnerships with Merissa Aguilleira and Afy Fletcher at least gave the West Indies something to bowl at.

However, when she fell playing across the line, the end was nigh, and they were eventually bowled out for 150 when Akeira Peters went for a duck on her international debut.

The White Ferns clearly wanted to finish the job quickly, with Priest hammering the ball to all parts.

She lifted one drive over long off for six to move to fifty in just 29 balls and will be kicking herself at getting out just 10 short of a well-deserved hundred.

Still, it was a minor blip after a fine innings, and ensured that New Zealand cruised to its second win in the tournament.

Meanwhile it’s back to the drawing board for the West Indies after a fourth straight loss in the tournament that has seen their semifinal hopes dwindle fast.

Captain Taylor said: “We haven’t really been playing much 50-over cricket. A couple of New Zealand girls managed to get acclimatised. If you look at 50-over games, it’s been a while since we last played.

“In the past few games, the openers set up a platform but the middle order could not capitalize. It’s all about mindset now. We just have to look to play some positive cricket. We just have to play for some pride.”

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