The second round of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship kicked off in the best way possible as both New Zealand and West Indies looked very firm in their approach to gain two valuable points. New Zealand cricket did a great job of live-streaming the entire game after the public outcry and criticism their South African counterparts received regarding the telecast of their games against India just a month before.
The game was well equally contested by both the teams with the White Ferns emerging victorious by a run as the game went down the final ball.
Batting first, Bates’ side notched up a competitive total of 278 on board, at the loss of 9 wickets. Sophie Devine continued her great form from the Pakistan series in the UAE, scoring her 3rd ODI century, a total of 108 runs off 103 balls. Her innings included 7 fours and 2 sixes. She played a calm and composed innings scoring 50+ partnerships with Bates, Satterthwaite, and Martin after getting dropped on 11 by Hayley Matthews.
Skipper Bates gave the perfect start to the hosts partnering with Devine to a 3rd 50+ partnership in the last 4 innings before being the first one to fall to Matthews in the 15th over. Vice-Captain Amy Satterthwaite and wicket-keeper Katey Martin played with ease for their 27 and 22 but failed to convert the start.
After the fall of the centurion Devine in the 37th over, wickets tumbled for the hosts in the last 10 overs before a saving grace by Kasperek and Huddleston in the final 2 overs helped them set a target of 279 to win. Both Afy Fletcher and Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor took 3 wickets each with Fletcher getting the important ones of Devine and Satterthwaite.
In response, the Caribbean side had a rather slow and dejected start to their innings. Matthews was the first one to fall at 18 in the 8th over to Holly Huddleston. Stafanie Taylor and Kycia Knight steadied the ship with Knight scoring at almost the strike rate of 50 before falling at 38 to Kasperek. Skipper Taylor kept rotating the singles and hitting an odd delivery for a boundary at one end, with Nation, Dottin, and Cooper unable to provide a helping hand to their skipper.
By the time Kyshona Knight arrived at the crease, Taylor had completed most of the job for the Windies scoring 90 off 94 with 8 fours and a maximum, although she missed out on a century. Knight and former skipper Aguilleira had a decent partnership with the wicket-keeper scoring a quick 20 with 3 fours before getting out. Kyshona Knight tried her level best scoring runs from one end ending up with 44 not out off 31 balls with 3 fours and a six to her credit as she ran out of partners at the other end handing the side from Oceania a 1-0 lead in the series.
Heading into the next contest, both sides would look to rectify their mistakes as they meet again at the same ground in 4 days on March 8 for the 2nd ODI.
New Zealand 278/9 (Devine 108, Taylor 3/54)
West Indies 277/9 (Taylor 90, Huddleston 2/41)