TAROUBA, Trinidad, (CMC) – Captain Stafanie Taylor’s 28th One-Day International half-century was enough to steer West Indies Women to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Women and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here Friday night.Chasing a paltry 163 for victory at the Brian Lara Stadium, the Windies cantered home in the 40th over thanks to Taylor’s unbeaten 60.The right-hander faced 83 balls and struck three fours and six, receiving support from Deandra Dottin who stroked a busy 37 not out, Hayley Matthews who got 25, and Kycia Knight, 24.Sri Lanka Women, sent in earlier, could only muster 162 off 46.3 overs, with Yasoda Mendis top-scoring with 34, Chamari Atapattu getting 31, Dilani Manodara, 26Leg-spinner Afy Fletcher led the Windies attack with three for 24 while off-spinners Anisa Mohammed (2-16) and Taylor (2-31) ended with two apiece.The victory ensured the second win on the trot for the hosts but more importantly, another two points to go towards their tally in the ICC Women’s Championship.Sri Lanka were off to a great start but suffered a collapse in the crucial middle overs and fell away eventually.Mendis struck seven fours in a robust 31-ball knock as she put on 53 off 66 deliveries for the first wicket with Nipuni Hansika (18).Both fell in the space of 32 balls with 19 runs added but Atapattu and Manodara combined in a 32-run, third wicket stand to rebuild the innings as Sri Lanka reached 104 for two in the 24th over.Atapattu faced just 37 balls and counted three fours but once she departed, the Sri Lanka innings plunged into decline as five wickets perished for just 25 runs.Prasadani Weerakkody (19) and Rebeca Vandort (17) staged a 29-run, eighth wicket stand to hold up the Windies before the last three wickets tumbled for four runs.In reply, Matthews and Kycia Knight put on 49 for the first wicket to give the Windies a solid start before both fell within the space of 14 balls, to leave the score on 59 for two in the 17th over.Taylor then ensured there would be no hiccups, adding 27 for the third wicket with Chedean Nation (8) before anchoring a match-winning 77 in an unbroken fourth wicket partnership with Dottin who stroked four fours and a six in a run-a-ball knock.The third ODI is set for today at the same venue. SRI LANKAN Hansika c wkp Aguilleira b Mohammed 18Y Mendis c Taylor b Fletcher 34C Atapattu c Kycia Knight b Taylor 31D Manodara run out 26P Weerakkody st Aguilleira b Mohammed 1S Siriwardene lbw b Fletcher 4S Weerakkody c Taylor b Selman 19A Kanchana hit wkt b Fletcher 3+R Vandort lbw b Taylor 17U Probodhani not out 2*I Ranaweera b Connell 0Extras (b1, lb4, w2) 7TOTAL (all out, 46.3 overs) 162Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-72, 3-104, 4-105, 5-112, 6-122, 7-129, 8-158, 9-160, 10-162.Bowling: Selman 5-1-20-1, Connell 3.3-0-24-1, Matthews 9-0-42-0, Fletcher 10-0-24-3, Mohammed 10-3-16-2WEST INDIES WOMENH Matthews c Kanchana b Ranaweera 25Kycia Knight b Atapattu 24*S Taylor not out 60C Nation b Siriwardene 8D Dottin not out 37Extras (lb3, w5, nb1) 9TOTAL (3 wkts, 39.4 overs) 163Did not bat: +M Aguilleira, Kyshona Knight, Afy Fletcher, S Connell, A Mohammed, S Selman.Fall of wickets: 1-49, 2-59, 3-86.Bowling: Probodhani 4-0-13-0, Weerakkody 7-0-34-0, Kanchana 4-2-10-0, Atapattu 5-0-27-1.Points: West Indies Women 2, Sri Lanka Women 0.
For a program with three consecutive losing seasons, the University of Illinois football team was hoping for different results.That initiative took a significant hit when the university fired former head coach Tim Beckman one week before the season, amid allegations he pressured players to play hurt.So in stepped Bill Cubit, the Illini’s former offensive coordinator.During Beckman’s tenure as head coach, Illinois went 12-25, with a loss in the Heart of Dallas Bowl last season to Louisiana Tech. The team never finished with more than six wins with him at the helm.This season, the Fighting Illini (4-2) are within two wins of that single-season threshold. And between the drama of losing their head coach just a week before the start of the season, Cubit has his team in third place in the Big Ten West (1-1).The play of Illinois thus far drew the praise of Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, especially given the situation it was thrust into.“I think that is really unique, I give them credit, because I think they’re focusing on the season, and they’re playing well,” Chryst said. “So whatever it is they’re doing, I think you’ve got to tip your hat to them.”After a blowout loss on the road to North Carolina, Illinois rebounded with a fourth-quarter comeback victory over Nebraska. Illinois then put up a good fight against Iowa, but fell 29-20.To expose the Illini defense, the Badgers will rely once again on the arm of Joel Stave. The fifth-year senior quarterback will lead the offense against the second-worst passing defense in the league (256.5 yards per game).“Watching them on film, they looked like an improved team from year’s past,” Stave said. “It’ll be fun to see what they do.”Stave also praised the Illini’s resiliency throughout the coaching change.“It’s cool the way that they’ve rallied around their new coach and their team,” Stave said.The Wisconsin passing defense doesn’t fair much better, yielding 251 yards per game through the air. Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt, who has thrown for nine touchdowns in 2015, takes care of the ball, throwing only two interceptions this season.Game informationWhere: Champaign, Illinois, Memorial Stadium (60,670)When: 2:30 p.m.TV: Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler, Mat Millen, Lisa Byington)Radio: Badger Sports Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Patrick Herb)