New Zealand bag the first ODI against West Indies by five runs via DLS method

New Zealand won via DLS Method © Getty Images

New Zealand started their campaign in the Caribbeans with a close win over West Indies by five runs via the DLS method. Suzie Bates’ half-century trumped Hayley Matthews’ three-wicket haul as the visitors bagged two points in the ICC Women’s Championship at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound in Antigua on Monday (September 19).

After multiple delays due to the wet pitch, the match got reduced to 35 overs per side. Playing in the ODIs for the first time since the home World Cup, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl. Izzy Gaze, a wicketkeeper from Auckland, made her debut in the format as both sides started their ICC Women’s Championship campaign. 

In their first ODI under new captain Hayley Matthews, the hosts opened with the opening pair of Natasha McClean and Rashada Williams. They got off to a quick start as McClean and Williams went after the New Zealand pacers. Williams smashed four boundaries inside the powerplay. She tried to continue her hitting spree, but that aggression led to her wicket in the seventh over. Maddy Green took a simple catch in the slips off Hayley Jensen to give visitors an early breakthrough.

Shabika Gajanabi, the right-handed batter from Guyana, replaced Williams. That did not stop McClean, who smashed Jensen for a massive six in the same over. The pair looked settled for a big second wicket partnership, but Gaze took a diving catch, her first in the ODIs for New Zealand, to send McClean back for 20. West Indies wobbled after the wicket of McClean as they lost former captain Stafanie Taylor for eight and Matthews for two in the span of two overs. 

From 65 for four at the end of the 15th over, Gajanabi tried to review the West Indies innings with Kyshona Knight. New Zealand spinner duo, Fran Jonas and Amelia Kerr, were excellent in their execution as the dot ball pressure led to the wicket of Gajanabi in 21st over. The hosts needed a partnership to rescue them from this position, and Knight and Chinelle Henry were up for the task. The pair added 83 runs to take West Indies from 74 for five to 157 for six, the third-highest sixth-wicket partnership for West Indies in the ODIs.

Henry missed her well-deserved half-century by six runs, while Knight contributed to the partnership with her 36 runs off 61 balls. Jess Kerr dismissed both batters in her final over of the innings as West Indies registered 168 for seven in the first ODI of the series. 

Also read: Suzie Bates signs with Sydney Sixers for WBBL08

In reply, New Zealand got off to an explosive start, courtesy of the experienced opening duo of Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates. The latter hit Shamilia Connell for three boundaries inside the powerplay to show her intentions in the chase as New Zealand reached 40 runs in the first five overs. As the pacers got hammered all over the park, Matthews introduced herself and Karishma Ramharack to slow down the scoring rate. This resulted in a breakthrough as Matthews got rid of her counterpart, Devine, for 25. 

That partnered Bates with Amelia as they steadied the chase for New Zealand and kept the scoreboard ticking. Bates continued her batting form and smashed a half-century off 63 balls. She could not see her team get over the line as Afy Fletcher dismissed her for a well-made 51. Amelia and Green continued to keep the scoreboard ticking, but runs were hard to come. Matthews struck twice to remove Green and Lauren Down in the same over. Jensen lasted for 11 balls but only scored five runs before Henry dismissed her. Amelia remained at the other end and saw the fall of these quick wickets. She remained unbeaten on 47 and tried to take the visitors close to the target.

Bad light stopped the play when the visitors required 10 runs off 12 balls. Umpire decided to stop the play and New Zealand won by five runs via the DLS method.

Brief Scores:

West Indies 168/7 in 35 overs (Chinelle Henry 44, Kyshona Knight 36; Fran Jonas 2/22, Jess Kerr 2/29) lost to New Zealand 159/5 in 33 overs (Suzie Bates 51, Amelia Kerr 47*; Hayley Matthews 3/28) by five runs (via DLS Method)