KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – A sizzling knock by Hayley Matthews led Barbados to their third victory in a row and condemned Trinidad & Tobago to second successive defeat in the CWI Women’s T20 Blaze here Thursday.
The 20-year-old scored 39 off 21 balls in a vicious assault on the defending champions as Barbados chased down their modest target to finish on 93 for four, with 25 balls to spare at Sabina Park.
Matthews struck five fours and two sixes – including two powerful shots over mid-wicket in the first over off seamer Lee-Ann Kirby.
The classy West Indies opener added 61 in just 39 balls for the first wicket with Danielle Small, who contributed 22 off 18 balls.
After the positive start, off-spinner Shenelle Lord pulled things back for T&T with three for 17 to slow the scoring rate, but it proved in vain.
T&T had earlier made 92 for five off their 20 overs with Britney Cooper holding the innings together with 47 off 46 balls, including five fours. However, she fell to the strongly-built pacer Shamila Connell, who ended with two for 17 off her four overs.
In the nightcap match at the same venue, Windward Islands pulled off a major upset over Guyana as they won a cliff-hanger by two wickets with three balls to spare.
Set 122 to win, the Windwards needed 17 from the last two overs and eventually reached the target, to record their first win of the tournament.
The Windwards victory charge was led belligerent 21 off 11 balls from Edelyn Turton at a crucial stage in the innings. Her knock was highlighted by a couple of fours and a huge six over wide long-on which sailed into the George Headley Stand.
Her intervention changed the tempo of the game and set in train a late-order rally.
She was well supported by captain Stacy-Ann Adams, who made 23 off 34 balls in a fourth-wicket stand of 31.
Experienced opener Juliana Nero top-scored, guiding the early part of the innings with 34 off 32 balls, and adding 58 for the third wicket with Adams.
But Nero was bowled by Plaffiana Millington to leave the game evenly-poised at 30 for two before Turton entered and added much need impetus to the innings.
Earlier, captain Shemaine Campbelle put on a masterclass with a career-best 61 off 54 balls as the Guyanese posted 121 for five off their 20 overs.
The Windies player struck six boundaries and a massive six – a sensational flick over long-on into the second tier of the North Stand.
She breathed life into the innings after Guyana were stalling at 41 for two in the ninth over, before she was dismissed off the final ball of the innings by pacer Pearl Ettienne, who was the best bowler with two for 19 off four overs.
At Kensington Park, off-spinner Vanessa Watts produced the best bowling performance of the tournament so far as Jamaica recorded a comfortable seven-wicket win over Leeward Islands.
The wily 30-year-old, who played four T20 Internationals for the West Indies back in 2014, had the impressive figures of 4-1-9-5 to send the Leewards slumping to 68 all out off their 20 overs.
She demonstrated excellent control and made would have impressed the West Indies selectors as they look to pick the team for the ICC Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean in November. Watts was well supported by Chadean Nation, who took three wickets for 15 runs from four overs.
Set an easy target, the Jamaicans reached 70 for three off 12 overs to win with 48 balls to spare. Nation made 28 not out off 23 balls to cap a good all-round performance while captain Stafanie Taylor chipped in with 19.
The best bowler was Tiffany Thorpe, an import from Barbados, who ended with two for 11.
Jamaica’s win put them top of the points table alongside Barbados, both teams boasting perfect records of three wins from three matches.