Cricket: Cricket-Matthews shines as Windies upset hosts in World Cup opener


WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Hayley Matthews smashed an excellent century to assist the West Indies to a dramatic three-run victory over match hosts New Zealand in the opening match of the twelfth Women’s World Cup at Mount Maunganui on Friday.

The all-rounder, moved up the order to open the batting in place of Rashada Williams, took the sport to New Zealand from the beginning and pummelled 16 fours and a booming six in her 128-ball 119.

The 23-year-old Barbadian returned to take 2-41 along with her offspin and set again the New Zealanders in their bid to chase down 260 runs for victory in entrance of a sparse, COVID-19 restricted crowd.

Sloppy West Indies fielding gave Sophie Devine at the very least two lives and the New Zealand captain took full benefit with a battling 108 that saved the hosts in with a sniff of victory.

Seamer Chinelle Henry lastly ousted the house captain with an excellent juggled catch off her personal bowling to arrange a dramatic remaining 5 over underneath the Bay Oval lights.

Katey Martin (44) and Jess Kerr (25) wanted six runs from the ultimate six deliveries however Deandra Dottin, bowling her first over of the match, dismissed them each and ran out Hannah Rowe on the penultimate ball to depart New Zealand 256 all out.

“I assumed we had been proper in it till the final over,” mentioned Devine.

“You do not get way more clutch than a bowler coming in in the fiftieth over and doing what Dottin did. So full credit score to them however we have to maneuver on shortly.”

Matthews mentioned coach Courtney Walsh had known as her on Thursday and instructed her she can be opening in place of Williams, who was dominated out of the match by concussion protocols.

“Just fairly blissful that I might get some runs up high,” mentioned Matthews. “Definitely my greatest rating, undoubtedly up there with among the best innings.”

The match, delayed by 12 months due to the worldwide well being disaster, pitches all eight groups in a gap round-robin with the highest 4 progressing to the semi-finals.

Australia, who’re favourites to win a seventh title, open their marketing campaign in opposition to holders England in Hamilton on Saturday.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, enhancing by Robert Birsel)

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