They looked to have got the defeats in the semifinals of the last two editions out of their system and they believed this would be the year that they really make a mark. But yesterday their fearless brand of cricket -- which has won the plaudits of one and all -- came undone by an Australian side, which is known for its professionalism and clinical display. West Indies lost the semifinal by eight runs, but Merrisa believes the faith is still there and they will only come back stronger in future.
"I wouldn't say it's a setback," she said at the post-match press conference. "We still have faith, we need to take the team to the next level. We played good cricket here. There's a lot of faith in us and we will come back stronger."
Having restricted the Australians to 140 on a batting-friendly deck, West Indies thought that their semifinal jinx would finally be over. But two crucial dismissals at decisive moments made their work harder. First it was the run-out of Stefanie Taylor -- one of the most prolific batswomen in all formats -- after West Indies had got off to a good start, and then it was the dismissal of Deandra Dottin, when she was looking like taking the game away from Australia.
"I think both of their dismissals were crucial. They are the two main batters of the team. Taylor's run out was very touching for us. We had King and Dottin batting, and they looked good but it was hard to see her [Dottin] getting out," Merrisa said.
In the end, it was probably the big-match experience and the winning mentality of the Australians which turned the tide in their favour. Erin Osborne, the off-spinner who was adjudged player-of-the-match for taking one wicket for only 18 runs and no less for taking the crucial catch of Dottin, felt the experience got them over the line.
"It was quite nervy towards the end. But we had the experience and we knew that smallish targets are not always the easiest ones to achieve. We did believe we were up there and just needed to take the catches," said Osborne.
Dottin's catch at deep midwicket dealt a crucial blow to West Indies' chances. But Osborne felt it was not so much as the catch, rather the all-round discipline of the team that won them the game.
"She [Dottin] is one of the biggest strikers in the game. So I was just sticking to the basics and knew exactly where I wanted to bowl. We always believed in ourselves and knew we had to take the catches that were on offer," said Osborne.