Taylor stars as WI avoid NZ sweep
The West Indies Women’s team avoided the dreaded sweep as they were able to chalk up a four-wicket win over New Zealand (NZ) in the third and final One Day International (ODI) in Antigua and Barbuda yesterday to finish the series 2-1.
It was former captain Stafanie Taylor and current skipper Hayley Matthews who stood tall with the bat as their knocks of 51 and 40, respectively, enabled the hosts to chase down the 169 runs needed for victory.
That good work with the bat was set up first by some disciplined bowling by the regional side, who restricted the White Ferns to 168 all out in 48.1 overs. Spinners Matthews, Afy Fletcher, and Karishma Ramharrack all took two wickets each despite a fighting 53 from Lauren Down.
After deciding to take first strike, the visitors found themselves in early trouble, losing two wickets with just 19 runs on the board.
A 37-run third-wicket partnership between Maddy Green and Amelia Kerr steadied things somewhat before Shakera Selman had Green caught for 14.
Player of the series Kerr got to 30 before she held out to Fletcher at 84 for four in the 23rd over.
Down then dug in and duly brought up her half-century, which came off 70 balls with three fours and a six, as she shared in a 44-run sixth-wicket stand to help the visitors get close to the 150 mark.
When she fell to Matthews for 53 in the 42nd over, the White Ferns added only 13 more runs.
The West Indies, in reply, opted to switch up the batting order, with captain Matthews returning to her familiar opening position with Jamaican Rashada Williams pushed down to the number five slot.
That rotation did not stop the hosts from getting off to a poor start as Jamaican Natasha McLean and Shakini Gajnabi were both back in the pavilion with only 10 runs on the board.
Matthews was then joined by former captain Taylor, and the pair pulled on all their experience to rescue the Windies’ run chase with an 81-run third wicket stand.
They added 50 runs in 82 balls and positively took the host to 91 runs before Matthews went caught for 40 off 70 balls with three boundaries.
Taylor continued to battle on and brought up her half-century off 84 balls after hitting four fours.
Four balls after getting to the landmark, Taylor would retire hurt on 51, with the Windies still needing 53 runs for victory.
Jamaican Rashada Williams was looking good for her 14 runs before she was run out, however, Aaliyah Alleyne with 27 not out and Chinelle Henry who made 12, saw the home side over the line to claim the consolation victory.
Captain Matthews was pleased that the team was able to chalk up a win heading into the T20 series.
“I think it was a good opportunity for a lot of different players to step up. It gives us a good idea as to where we are at in terms of the balance of the team, and we are looking to take the positives out of this win and take them into the T20 series,” Matthews said.