Matthews hundred earns Windies share of series

Opener Hayley Matthews gathers runs through the off-side during her enterprising hundred against South Africa yesterday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Stylish opener Hayley Matthews carved out a classy maiden One-Day International hundred as West Indies thrashed South Africa by 115 runs to square the three-match ICC Women’s Championship series 1-1 here yesterday.

Playing in the decisive day/night contest, West Indies piled up a venue-record 292 for five off their 50 overs with the 20-year-old Matthews stroking 117 – the first hundred in the women’s game at the storied Kensington Oval.

In reply, South Africa failed to recover from a rocky start and were bowled out for 177 in the 43rd over, with captain Dane van Niekerk top-scoring with 77 and 19-year-old opener Laura Wolvaardt chipping in with 54.

All-rounder Deandra Dottin followed up her earlier whirlwind half-century with a spell of four for 36 with her zippy medium pace, allowing the Windies to clinch a share of honours in the series after losing the opener last Sunday by 40 runs.

Wednesday’s second match was abandoned as a no-result due to rain.

Opting to bat first, West Indies suffered an early setback when left-hander Kycia Knight played around one from pacer Marizanne Kapp (4-55) and was lbw with the total on 12 in the third over.

However, Matthews and captain Stafanie Taylor, who stroked 46, combined in a record stand of 176 for the second wicket, to repair the innings and lay the platform for the imposing total.

Playing before her home crowd with her parents present, Matthews took centre stage, facing 146 balls and stroking 17 delightful boundaries.

Hitting the ball cleanly and powerfully, she raced to her half-century off 49 deliveries and reached triple figures off her 126th delivery.

Taylor, meanwhile, struggled at the start of her innings before blossoming to strike four fours in an 80-ball knock. When she drove Kapp to cover in the 37th over, it paved the way for Dottin’s arrival and the flamboyant right-hander gave the innings new thrust in a cameo 59 which lasted 44 balls and included four fours and three sixes.

Dottin lost Matthews in the 41st over, scooping 19-year-old seamer Tumi Sekhukhune to Sune Luus at cover but posted 47 off 32 balls for the fourth wicket with Shemaine Campbelle (14), before perishing in the penultimate over.

In reply, South Africa stumbled to 10 for two in the fifth over after losing opener Lizelle Lee (2) and Luus (4) cheaply, in a stifling new-ball spell from quicks Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman.

However, van Niekerk and Wolvaardt pulled the innings around in a third-wicket stand worth 108, which handed the South Africans hope.

Van Niekerk, voted Player-of-the-Series, faced 105 balls and struck 11 fours while Wolvaardt counted five fours in an 82-ball knock.

But with the required run rate climbing, Wolvaardt charged leg-spinner Afy Fletcher (2-42), missed and was stumped in the 30th over and her dismissal triggered a slide as the last eight wickets fell for 59 runs.

Van Niekerk was eighth out in the 41st over with the score on 169, brilliantly run out at the striker’s end by Campbelle’s direct hit from mid-wicket, risking a quick single with Sekhukhune (4).

Dottin proved instrumental, wiping out in the lower order with a sharp spell and she fittingly ended the contest when she bowled number 11 Raisibe Ntozakhe for three.

Both teams will now turn their attention to the opening Twenty20 International of the five-match series which bowls off here Monday at 2 pm.

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