West Indies beat New Zealand in a thrilling contest in the 2022 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup tournament opener with a few stars from both sides showcasing their quality with both bat and ball.
New Zealand v West Indies
4 March 2022 - Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Hayley Matthews rises to the occasion
The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 got off to a flyer when Deandra Dottin smashed the first ball of the match to the boundary. But it was the West Indies’ opener standing at the other end that soon stole the show.
Hayley Matthews wasn’t even certain to open the batting after some recent appearances in the middle order, but looked composed through the early overs even as two partners fell cheaply.
After steadying the innings alongside Stafanie Taylor, Matthews was soon plundering the White Ferns bowlers and finished with 16 fours that included a creative scoop, and one huge six.
The 23-year-old carried her bat and a sore hamstring through to the 45th over before being caught off the bowling of Jess Kerr for her highest ODI score of 119.
Matthews backed it up with the ball and claimed the crucial early wicket of the in-form Amelia Kerr. Going forward, however, she will need more support of the West Indies are to go deep into the tournament.
The Kerr sisters shine
Jess and Amelia Kerr again showcased their qualities with the ball during the West Indies' batting innings. While Jess ended up with figures of 2/43 in her 10 overs, Amelia kept it tight with a spell of 1/33.
Jess scalped first got the dismissal of Kycia Knight (5) and then would also scalp the star of the Windies batting order, Hayley Matthews for 119.
Amelia wasn't far behind, maintaining a disciplined line and length throughout and trapping Shemaine Campbelle for 20.
The form of the two sisters will give the tournament hosts a lot of confidence.
West Indies almost pay the price of dropped catches as Devine tons up
West Indies were well and truly in the game with their opponents on 72/2 in the 19th over when Sophie Devine lofted a drive toward mid-on and Shamilia Connell.
The pace bowler hardly had to move as the ball came her way but wasn’t prepared for it to dip quickly and spilled a simple chance to claim the key wicket of the New Zealand skipper.
The dangerous Devine was on 37 from 59 balls at the time and looked far from comfortable but went on to make the most of another life with a stunning century, the sixth of her career.
The New Zealand skipper was in sublime form, cracking 10 fours in a knock of 108 and it seemed as that she would single-handedly guide the hosts to a victory. But Chinelle Henry's exceptional caught and bowled to dismiss her proved to be one of the biggest turning points of the contest.
For the Windies though, their fielding will be a major area of concern. Overall, they would drop 5 catches in the contest – an area that they will have to heavily work on before the next match.
Bates made to wait after careless dismissal
New Zealand’s hopes of winning a second World Cup on home soil will depend partly on the form of their experienced stars like Suzie Bates.
Bates will have to wait to make her mark after being carelessly dismissed at the non-striker’s end when Sophie Devine played the ball back down the pitch and bowler Chinelle Henry got a few fingers and a deft touch to it before the bails broke.
Devine more than made amends for her teammate after the 34-year-old Bates was left embarrassed while standing out of her crease with only three runs to her name.
Dottin keeps her cool to take Windies home
Despite a flurry of wickets and after losing skipper Sophie Devine, New Zealand had worked tremendously hard to gain the upper hand heading into the final over. The equation was simple – the hosts needed six off six deliveries with three wickets in hand. Katey Martin and Jess Kerr were well-placed to take the hosts to a victory.
Deandra Dottin though, had other plans and would deliver a sensational final over to seal the deal for the Windies. With a brilliant yorker, she would trap Katey Martin for 44 in the second delivery of the over. After the third ball conceded a single, she sent the second set batter back to the pavilion as well. Jess Kerr went for miscued one straight to mid-off as the Windies now smelled victory.
The fifth delivery would yield a run-out at the non-striker's end as Hannah Rowe missed a length delivery and Fran Jonas was out at the other end. The Windies players erupted with joy as they won the contest by three runs with Dottin emerging as the difference-maker.
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