Maddy Green, spinners help New Zealand take lead despite Hayley Matthews' heroics
Maddy Green scored an unbeaten 49 © Getty Images
New Zealand came through in yet another low-scoring thriller despite Hayley Matthews' all-round efforts to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Maddy Green was the star of the show for the visitors with an unbeaten 49 at the Sir Vivian Richards Statdium in Antigua on Sunday (October 2).
Opting field yet again, New Zealand made one change to the side that won the second T20I with Jess Kerr coming in for Hannah Rowe. For West Indies, Matthews started in aggressive fashion with three boundaries in the first nine balls.
However, Aaliyah Alleyne couldn’t handle an inswinger from Jess and was bowled for just one. Matthews hit Hayley Jensen for another boundary to help West Indies end the power play on 34 for one.
Post the power play, New Zealand control the proceedings with their quartet of spinners – Fran Jonas, Eden Carson, Amelia Kerr, and Suzie Bates – putting a tight leash on the Windies batters.
Matthews, who scored 30 off the 34 runs in the first six overs, was the first to go when she fell to Jonas right after the power play. Carson came into the attack in ninth over and struck with her second ball to dismiss Rashada Williams.
No boundaries were scored from the seventh over to the 13th over as New Zealand spinners gave away only 19 runs in this phase. Although Chinelle Henry hit Amelia for a boundary, she also departed as she became Jonas’ second wicket.
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Once the 29-run partnership ended West Indies succumbed to yet another collapse with five wickets falling for 11 runs. Suzie Bates, who returned to bowling with some off spin variety in the series, picked up a couple of wickets to end with figures of 2 for 5 from her three overs.
Although Shabika Gajnabi hit a couple of good blows including a six over long-on off Amelia in the final over, West Indies fell way short with their innings ending at 93 for nine from the stipulated 20 overs.
For New Zealand, Jonas was the most successful bowler with three wickets while Carson and Bates picked up two wickets each.
Like during their batting, it was all Matthews for West Indies as New Zealand went about chasing the moderate target. The off spinner started with the big wicket of in-form Bates her first over, then accounted for Sophie Devine and Amelia in consecutive deliveries in her second.
Although Georgia Plimmer hit her over long-on for a six, Matthews struck back with the wicket as Henry completed an acrobatic juggling catch. Those four wickets meant New Zealand ended the power play on 20 for four.
It was up to the experienced duo of Maddy Green and Lauren Down to resurrect New Zealand. But they also needed them to keep them on track in the chase with runs proving to be hard to come by.
The pair took their time and added 38 runs for the fifth wicket. They could find only one boundary during the partnership and it meant they also faced 52 deliveries during the stand. Afy Fletcher eventually provided West Indies with the breakthrough as she had Down caught by Matthews in the 15th over.
That dismissal meant, New Zealand needed 34 runs from the last five overs and they were looking for a big over to reduce the required run rate. It came in the form of Cherry-Anne Fraser’s third over. Green was able to find two boundaries in the over as White Ferns took 13 runs from it.
With New Zealand needing 21 runs from the last four overs, Green pulled Alleyne for the fourth boundary off her innings. Only three runs came for Matthews’ final over as she finished on 4 for 12 from her four overs.
In the penultimate over, Green attacked Fraser and hit a couple of boundaries and her second boundary down the ground helped New Zealand reach home in yet another chase.
Brief Scores: West Indies 93/9 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 30; Fran Jonas 3/16, Suzie Bates 2/5) lost to New Zealand 94/5 in 18.4 overs (Maddy Green 49*; Hayley Matthews 4/12) by 5 wickets