Hayley Matthews gets first win as captain after shining all-round display
Hayley Matthews got her first win as West Indies captain. © Getty Images
West Indies overcame a few nervy moments to register their first win of the series against New Zealand at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Sunday. Hayley Matthews led with the ball and ball and was well supported by Aaliyah Alleyne, who made a decisive impact on her return to the team. New Zealand won the series 2-1 to register their first-ever ODI series win in the Caribbean.
New Zealand had won both the previous matches of the series while chasing but they opted to bat first after winning the toss in the final ODI.
West Indies effected a solitary change in their team by bringing in Aaliyah Alleyne for Shamilia Connell. Alleyne was impressive with the new ball alongwith Chinelle Henry as the pitch aided them in the early exchanges.
New Zealand made a watchful start before Henry had Suzie Bates caught Alleyne at point for two after she failed to keep a drive down.
Alleyne was in the wickets in the very next over as she bowled skipper Sophie Devine for seven with one that came back in sharply.
Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green then worked to hard to stitch a 37-run partnership before Green fell tamely for 14 after hitting an outswinger from Shakera Selman straight to cover.
Amelia looked solid and rotated the strike well with Lauren Down, who timed the ball sweetly from the outset, including a cracking pulled six off Selman.
Amelia was eventually dismissed for a hardworking 30 by Afy Fletcher after trying to attack a fuller delivery from the leg spinner but only managing to lob it to Alleyne at backward point.
Fletcher then took a splendid return catch while diving to her right to dismiss Brooke Halliday for 10 as New Zealand lost half their side with a little over a hundred runs on the board.
The pattern of batters getting in and out continued on a pitch where the ball was getting stuck in the pitch as debutant Georgia Plimmer fell for 17 after lobbing a catch back to Krishma Ramharack.
The impressive Down brought up her third ODI fifty and steered New Zealand past 150 before she fell for 53 after hitting one straight back to captain Hayley Matthews off her own bowling.
Matthews then cleaned up Izzy Gaze for six as New Zealand’s lower order struggled to offer resistance. Molly Penfold was next to go for 1 after Henry ran her out.
New Zealand’s inning came to a close on 168 as Jess Kerr was dismissed for seven by Ramharack, who ended with 2-28.
In reply, Jess Kerr got The White Ferns off to a great start on her return after missing the previous match as she dismissed Natasha Mclean for 1 and Shabika Gajnabi for a duck off consecutive balls with big, hooping inswing in the third over.
West Indies tried to address their batting woes by bumping Matthews up to open and she brought all her experience into play alongwith Stafanie Taylor as they put on a 81-run stand for the third wicket before Matthews was dismissed for a composed 40.
Taylor went on to score a fifty but retired immediately after that with what appeared to be a bout of cramps when on 51*.
West Indies then suffered another collapse as Kyshona Knight and Rashada Williams were dismissed off successive deliveries for one and 14 and Jess played a key part in both wickets.
Henry and Alleyne then scored briskly to get close to the target but Henry failed to clear Jess at mid on and Devine struck to get her for 12.
Alleyne capped a fine day in the field by hitting an unbeaten 27* to help West Indies win by four wickets, with Selman remaining unbeaten on 5*.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 168/10 in 48.1 overs (Lauren Down 53, Amelia Kerr 30; Hayley Matthews 2/23, Karishma Ramharack 2/28) lost to West Indies 169/6 in 43.4 overs (Stafanie Taylor 51, Hayley Matthews 40; Jess Kerr 3/29) by four wickets