Carson, Green help New Zealand seal their first-ever series win in the Caribbean

Carson (L) and Green (R) helped New Zealand win the series © Getty Images

Debutant Eden Carson took three wickets and Maddy Green played a patient knock of 49 to help New Zealand take an unassailable lead in the three-match series against West Indies on Thursday (September 22). Hayley Matthews played a valiant knock of 46, but the visitors bagged the series in the Caribbean for the first time.

Matthews won the toss and opted to bat first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua with the same playing XI. For New Zealand, Carson, an off-spinner from Otago, made her ODI debut after receiving her T20I debut cap during the Commonwealth Games. Lea Tahuhu started the proceedings with the ball alongside Hayley Jensen.

Jensen looked threatening throughout her first spell, and she got the reward with the early wicket of Natasha McLean for four in the fourth over as wicket-keeper Izzy Gaze took a diving catch. Rashada Williams and Shabika Gajanabi tried to revive the innings, but Sophie Devine dismissed the latter for seven. Williams did not last long either as the hosts were struggling at 29 for three in the 11th over.

From that precarious position, Matthews and former captain Stafanie Taylor tried to rescue the innings with a partnership of 38 runs. Gaze took her third catch of the day to give New Zealand a much-needed breakthrough. Chenille Henry, West Indies’ highest run-scorer from the first ODI, supported her captain well with 30 off 35 balls, including five boundaries. Carson bagged her first ODI wicket as she trapped Matthews in front, just one short of her half-century. 

Shakera Selman (18) and Afy Fletcher (19) added some much-needed runs in the death overs to take West Indies past 150 in the first innings. For New Zealand, Carson took three wickets while Hayley Jensen chipped in with two wickets as West Indies finished on 169 for nine in the first innings. 

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In the chase, the visitors got off to a quick start with Devine and Suzie Bates taking on the West Indies attack early. Devine tried to continue her aggression, but Taylor took an easy catch off Selman to break the opening partnership. Selman struck in her next over to get rid of Bates on 16 as McLean took an easy catch. Henry removed Amelia Kerr for 21 to leave New Zealand on 51 for 3 at the end of the power play. 

Lauren Down joined Green when New Zealand needed 119 runs to win the series with seven wickets in hand. Both batters took a while to settle, especially against West Indies spinners. Matthews shuffled her bowlers in search of the breakthrough, but the New Zealand duo was up to the task. The pair added 66 runs for the fourth wicket to take the wind out of West Indies’ defense. 

Matthews introduced Taylor in the 27th over of the chase, and the former captain immediately broke the dangerous-looking partnership. Down departed after a well-made 33, and Brooke Halliday joined Green with New Zealand 51 runs away from the target.

Green and Halliday added 47 more runs to take the visitors close to the target, but the visitors wobbled at the end of the innings. Green’s wicket in the 37th over triggered a collapse as New Zealand lost four wickets for just three runs. West Indies showed some aggression with an attacking field, but it was too little too late for the hosts. The calm-headed Jensen cracked a boundary through point to seal an historic series win for New Zealand by two wickets. 

Brief Scores: West Indies 169/9 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 46, Chinelle Henry 30; Eden Carson 3/31) lost to New Zealand 171/8 in 40.1 overs (Maddy Green 48, Lauren Down 33; Karishma Ramharack 3/22) by two wickets POTM: Maddy Green