Part-time bowler Deandra Dottin delivered a fearless final over in which three wickets fell to give West Indies a three-run win over host New Zealand on Friday in the opening match of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
New Zealand came to the last over on 254-7, chasing West Indies’ 259-9 and appearing poised to pull off the highest winning run chase in the history of the women’s world tournament, but was dismissed for 256 with a ball left.
Dottin, an opening batter, hadn’t bowled in the match until that point. In fact she hadn’t bowled in the West Indies’ last nine one-day internationals or taken a wicket for the last three years. But she stepped up to take 2-2 in the last over.
Hayley Matthews, sent into an unfamiliar role as Dottin’s opening partner and battling a hamstring strain, made 119 runs in 128 balls as she anchored the West Indies’ innings after New Zealand won the toss and chose to field.
In reply, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine made 108 in 127 — her sixth ODI century and second in a World Cup match — to allow New Zealand to take the match deep, though it always lagged behind the West Indies’ run rate.
Devine was out, like Matthews, in the 45th over; New Zealand was 215-7 and still 45 runs from victory. Katey Martin made 44 and Jess Kerr 25 in a 40-run stand for the eighth wicket which tipped the match back in New Zealand’s favor.
Martin hit fours from the last two balls of the 49th over to send New Zealand into the last over needing six runs from six balls in what seemed an equation favorable to the home side. With the West Indies a bowler short after an injury to Shamilia Connell, Dottin stepped up to take the ball.
A single came from the first ball but Martin fell lbw to the next delivery, leaving New Zealand needing five from four balls with two wickets in had.
Hannah Rowe came to the crease and snatched a quick single leaving New Zealand needing four runs from three balls.
Kerr fell to the next ball, caught by Chinelle Henry, to leave New Zealand four runs from victory with two balls left and the last batter, 17-year-old Fran Jonas, at the crease.
With the pressure on, Rowe and Jonas attempted to single from a ball which beat the bat and went directly to the keeper and Jonas was run out with one ball remaining.
Devine was still padded up as she watched her hard work to keep New Zealand in the match unravel.
“I think full credit has to go to the West Indies,” Devine said. “I think the way Haley Matthews batted was brilliant.
“They set the game up well but I thought we were right in it to the last over and you don’t get much more clutch than a bowler coming in to bowl the 50th over and do what Dottin did.”
Matthews usually is at home in No. 5 in the West Indies’ order where her hard-hitting has brought her two previous centuries in one-day internationals outside World Cups. She was promoted at late notice when regular opener Rashada Williams was sidelined with concussion.
With Dottin on Friday, Matthews led an early assault on the New Zealand bowlers which rocked the confidence of the home team and started West Indies’ innings at a racing pace. West Indies’ first nine scoring shots were boundaries.
Matthews followed up her century with 2-41 from 10 overs in the New Zealand innings.
“Obviously a team like New Zealand playing at home, for us to come out there playing against the crowd and show that fight that we just showed is really, really memorable,” Matthews said.