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by Saksham Mishra Tuesday 5 May 2020
Having made her international debut in 2008, Deandra Dottin's career is on a decline now. The all-rounder had to undergo reconstructive surgery to her shoulder which kept her out of international cricket for eight months. When she returned at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, she played only three matches and didn't bowl. Dottin could only add 12 runs from these three innings with scores of 2, 1 and 9.
Despite that, the opposition was always fearful of her. If you asked the opposition captain about the biggest threats in the Caribbean team, Hayley Matthews, Stefanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin are the names you'd hear.
The reason why despite a dip in her form and fitness, she is still regarded as one of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball, is due to her past heroics. A batting average of 25.86 and a bowling average of a tick over 18 in T20Is makes her one of the most valuable players for West Indies.
A couple of years after Dottin made her international debut, she shook world cricket with her power hitting. In the opening encounter of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 at Basseterre in 2010, Windies were facing South Africa. At 52 for 4 after 9.2 overs, Proteas were well ahead in the game.
Dottin who had walked out with the thought of milking the bowlers, felt the need to go after them if Windies were to reach a winning total. It was "do or die" she says.
Sure enough, the all-rounder smacked three sixes and four fours to get to a half-century, off 25 balls. The next half of her ton came off an unbelievable 13 balls, which included an additional six sixes. Chris Gayle had opened the 2007 World T20 with the first ever international T20 century.
Come 2010, another West Indian became the pioneer in the women's game. South Africa were at the receiving end both times.
As she finished with an unbeaten 112 off 45 balls, Deandra Dottin became the first woman to score a Twenty20 century. And this, when she came in to bat in the 10th over! The all-rounder completed her century off off just 38 balls. Her match-winning effort included nine sixes and seven fours.
"It feels really good to be the first woman to make a century in Twenty20 cricket and this record and win mean a lot," Dottin said after her feat. "I am happy I did it for the team when we needed it most. People have been telling us that teams like Pakistan and Australia are two of the favourites to win. However, today we proved that we are here to win the cup in the Caribbean."
The century came within a year of another dominant record. In the 2009 World Twenty20, Dottin became the fastest woman to a T20I half-century with one that came off just 22 balls against Australia. A well-complied 95 in the final of the 2011 Women's World Cup Qualifier against Pakistan and 60 off 67 balls during the 2013 Women's World Cup against Australia are some of her other memorable knocks.
She was a vital cog in the West Indian outfit that won the 2016 Women's World Twenty20. In the tournament, Dottin took nine wickets at 13.55, including 2 for 33 in the final, paving the way for the team's title victory.
Dottin has been serving West Indian cricket for over a decade. She is an all-rounder in the true sense of the word as apart from batting, bowling and fielding, the 28-year old is also adept at javelin, shotput and discus. Dottin continues to be a role model in women's cricket.
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