St Kitts: Deandra Dottin led from the front with the first ever century by a woman in Twenty20 cricket to give West Indies victory in the opening match of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2010 in St Kitts.
West Indies, taking on Cri-Zelda Brits' South Africa, were put into bat at Warner Park after losing the toss and things didn't start well for the host when opening batter Stafanie Taylor departed for one at the start of the second over with just seven runs on the board.
It wasn't until the arrival of the Barbadian Dottin at number six that the West Indies side really began to fire. The 18-year-old then proceeded to make the first ever century by a woman cricketer in Twenty20 cricket, she took just 38 balls to make her hundred and in the process also took the record for the fastest ever century by either a man or a woman in Twenty20 cricket.
Dottin's West Indies compatriot in the men's side Chris Gayle previously held the record in ICC World Twenty20 history for the fastest hundred, made in 2007, off 50 balls.
When the West Indies inning concluded Dottin finished on 112 not out, in a batting show that included nine sixes and seven fours. The quiet Barbadian said: "I just went out there to bring my team home that was all that was in my head.
"It's obviously nice to be the first woman to make a century in Twenty20 cricket and to break Gayle's record but I've got to focus on the cricket now and continue to do well and get us through the next matches," said Dottin.
When South Africa came into bat Shandre Fritz (58) made a spirited effort with the bat as did captain Brits (43) and the pair added 84 for the second wicket, off 10.4 overs, and the pair were at the crease till the 16th over before two run-outs put the West Indies back in control of the game. South Africa's batters didn't have the run-rate to compete against the West Indies and fell 17 runs short of the target when its innings concluded.
"It's obviously disappointing to lost the first match of the tournament but we must pick ourselves up and keep going and now re-focus on the next match we have coming up which is against Australia on Friday.
"It's definitely a batters' pitch out there and we've got to keep going and remain positive - Twenty20 is anyone's game and have to move on from today's disappointment," said Brits.
West Indies Women 175 for 5 (Dottin 112*)
South Africa Women 158 for 4 (Fritz 58, Britz 43)
Result WI Women won by 17 runs
MOM Deandra Dottin (West Indies)