The West Indies Women opened their ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 campaign with a nail-biting three-run victory over hosts New Zealand in Tauranga.
Hayley Matthews shone with the bat when her career-best 119 led Windies to 259 for nine and she then took two for 41 with the ball to take the team to victory as the competition got off to a thrilling start. “I think initially going out there to open I probably thought I’d try to take it a bit steady obviously, haven’t opened the batting in a couple of months.”
“But when I got out there and saw how the wicket playing I was able to capitalise without trying too much. I think that’s pretty much how I just played my whole innings, take it ball by ball.” Matthews said.
Sophie Devine did her utmost to steer New Zealand to what would have been the highest-ever successful World Cup chase with an excellent century of her own but her departure with 45 required saw the pendulum swing back in West Indies’ direction.
Batting first, West Indies’ strong start saw Captain Stafanie Taylor join Matthews as the pair took their side into three figures during a composed 66-run partnership.
“I set small targets with my partner, always looking for partnerships. That happened to work really well and we were able to push really hard at the end.”
Matthews continued to accumulate runs despite pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury in the 27th over.
“I think, maybe I just felt maybe a little pull when I ran a quick single with Stafanie Taylor but I don’t think it's anything really to be too worried about. Just probably take a few days to rest then hopefully I’ll be fully fit to get back on the park for the next game against England.” She said.
She continued to pressure New Zealand with the ball as the 30-over mark arrived with New Zealand requiring 125 more for victory.
It was down to four needed from two to beat the West Indies but this proved unachievable for New Zealand who finished the match-three runs short of victory. (ICC)