Sydney, Australia – In a riveting display of talent and skill, Hayley Matthews scored a blazing 99 not out off just 74 deliveries in the 1st T20 International at the North Sydney Oval.
However, her lone effort couldn’t save the day for the West Indies Women, who were defeated by eight wickets.
Matthews took the opposition bowlers to the cleaners, hitting boundaries at will, and missing her well-deserved century by a whisker. Her innings was adorned with 12 fours and four sixes, making it one of the most memorable performances of her career.
The West Indies, riding on Matthews’ brilliance, posted a defendable total of 147 for three in their 20 overs.
However, the opposition seemed unfazed by the challenge and chased down the target in 13.2 overs, losing only two wickets in the process, to finish the game on 149 for two. Skipper Alyssa Healy scored 56 off 29 while Tahlia McGrath finished on 60 not out from 32 deliveries to guide the home team to the opening win.
Although the day belonged to the home team, Matthews won countless hearts with her valiant effort and was named Player of the Match. She also took one wicket.
Head Coach Shane Deitz remarked, “Magnificent innings, she really deserved the hundred. It’s one of the best innings I’ve seen for a long time. She’s been brilliant around the group as a leader, batter and bowler.”
Deitz also touched upon the team’s overall performance.
“I think we were a bit short as the wicket started playing better in the second half. It was a pretty good total, and maybe if we had taken our chances while fielding, things could have been different.”
The West Indies Women will now regroup for the second T20I tomorrow night, hoping to bounce back stronger. This defeat, though disappointing, has set the stage for what promises to be an exciting series. With both teams showcasing their strengths and weaknesses in the first match, the next encounter is bound to be a nail-biter. (PR/SAT)