Australian Team Soars to a Commanding Season Opener Win Despite Hayley Matthews' Batting Brilliance

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Australian Team Soars to a Commanding Season Opener Win Despite Hayley Matthews’ Batting Brilliance

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Australia Secures Dominant Eight-Wicket Win Despite Hayley Matthews’ Heroics

In the T20I series opener at North Sydney Oval, Australia displayed its dominance with an eight-wicket victory, even in the face of a remarkable batting display by West Indies captain Hayley Matthews.

Matthews showcased her prowess by scoring an unbeaten 99 runs off 74 balls, setting the record for the highest individual score by a West Indies player against Australia in women’s cricket across all formats. This impressive performance helped the tourists reach a respectable total of 147 for the loss of three wickets in their 20 overs.

Australia, however, efficiently chased down the target with 40 balls to spare, driven by explosive fifties from captain Alyssa Healy (56 runs from 29 balls) and her deputy, Tahlia McGrath, who remained unbeaten with a splendid 60 runs off just 32 deliveries.

The West Indies struggled with undisciplined bowling and sloppy fielding, with none of Matthews’ teammates managing to score more than 19 runs in the first innings.

Matthews began the match with a bang, scoring 33 of the West Indies’ initial 34 runs after Healy invited them to bat first. Early in the innings, South Australian quick Darcie Brown dismissed Shabika Gajnabi for a duck, while Georgia Wareham missed a crucial catch at mid-wicket, giving Stafanie Taylor a reprieve. Taylor and Matthews then combined for a 67-run partnership for the second wicket.

Phoebe Litchfield provided a breakthrough for Australia by executing a direct hit to dismiss Taylor for 10 runs. Despite the slow start, Shemaine Campbelle managed to accelerate, hitting a massive six over deep wicket. She was fortunate to survive a dropped catch by Litchfield.

Matthews steadily approached her century but was left stranded at 99 not out after Healy stumped Campbelle for 19 runs on the penultimate delivery of the innings.

Australia’s run chase faced an early setback when opener Beth Mooney was caught off Chinelle Henry’s bowling for 11 runs. However, McGrath’s aggressive batting, including three consecutive boundaries, eased the tension. Healy and McGrath capitalized on some West Indies fielding errors, including dropped catches, to steer Australia toward victory.

McGrath reached her fifty in just 26 balls, and with the help of Ash Gardner, they secured the win for Australia in the 14th over.

Australia now leads the three-match series 1-0, with the second T20I scheduled at the same venue on the following evening.

Reference:

https://www.cnc3.co.tt/matthews-sweet-on-deitz-philosophy-ahead-of-opener/

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