Super Over Sophie reigns supreme as New Zealand bag the T20I series

Super Over Sophie reigns supreme as New Zealand bag the T20I series

Devine smashed two sixes to win the super over © Getty Images

Sophie Devine kept her calm under pressure to deliver once again in the super over as New Zealand took an unassessable lead in the five-match T20I series against West Indies on Wednesday (October 5). West Indies fought hard till the end to take it to the super over, but Hayley Matthews' team fell agonisingly short of a famous victory.

After winning the toss for the first time in the T20I series, West Indies captain Matthews invited visitors to bat first at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. New Zealand were unchanged for the fourth match of the T20I series, while West Indies made two changes. The home side dropped Chinelle Henry and Shakera Selman as ​​Sheneta Grimmond and Natasha McLean found themselves in the Playing XI.

New Zealand’s experienced opening pair Devine and Suzie Bates struggled early in the innings, but Devine showed her intentions with a six in Aaliyah Alleyne’s second over of the day. That aggression did not last long as Karishma Ramharack’s direct hit ended the New Zealand captain’s knock inside the powerplay.

Bates never got going in her innings,  and it took Afy Fletcher just one delievery to send the right-hander packing. New Zealand needed Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green to stick around, and the pair answered the call with a patient partnership of 28 runs. Fletcher once again provided hosts with a vital breakthrough as she caught and bowled aggressive Green for 14. 

Kerr, at the other end, was fighting a lone battle to keep the visitors in the contest on the tricky pitch. She went after Cherry-Ann Fraser and Ramharack, which gave enough elbow room for Lauren Down to settle in her innings. Kerr was quick between the wickets, which helped New Zealand’s cause as runs were hard to come. Down played a supporting role in the innings and scored 17 runs off 21 balls to take the visitors past 100 runs in the first innings. 

Kerr remained unbeaten on 49 as New Zealand scored 111 for four in the first innings. For West Indies, Fletcher took two wickets, while Matthews chipped in with the wicket of Down, and she was the most economical bowler of the day for the home team. 

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In reply, West Indies struggled early in their chase to keep the series alive. The opening duo of Matthews and Alleyne could add nine runs in the first three overs of the powerplay before they amassed 12 runs from Hayley Jensen’s second over of the day. Devine took it upon herself to bowl the final over of the powerplay, and she struck twice to remove both West Indies openers to swing the momentum in favor of the visitors. At the end of the powerplay, the hosts were 28 for two.

Wicketkeeper Rashada Williams and Kyshona Knight kept their team in the hunt with a partnership of 25 runs, but Devine’s golden arm led to two more wickets in her second over. Halfway through the chase, West Indies needed 53 runs off 10 overs to deny the series win to the Kiwis. Nation took her time early in the innings but provided West Indies with a handy partnership with Shabika Gajnabi and Natasha Grimmond.  

Jess Kerr bowled beautifully and finished her spell with two wickets. Nation and Grimmond belted 13 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Devine and West Indies needed four runs from the final over. Devine handed Jensen the responsibility to bowl the final over of the innings, and the right-arm pacer gave away just three runs and took two wickets to force the lowe-scoring thriller to the super over.

After bowling an excellent final over, Devine opted to go with Jensen to bowl the super over. West Indies got a freebie first ball, as Jensen missed her line and the ball rushed towards the boundary for five wides. McLean found a boundary to put more pressure on the bowling side, but New Zealand recovered well to restrict West Indies to 15 runs. Devine started the chase with a massive six off Matthews. The West Indies captain recovered well and conceded six runs off the next four deliveries. The visitors needed four runs off the last ball to win the series and Devine deposited a six to seal the series. 

Brief Score: 

New Zealand: 111/4 in 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 49*, Afy Fletcher 2/16) tied with West Indies 111/9 in 20 overs (Chedean Nation 23; Sophie Devine 3/29)  New Zealand won in the Super Over

POTM: Sophie Devine

Super over

West Indies: 15/0( Natasha McLean 6*) lost to New Zealand: 18/0 (Sophie Devine 17*)

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