Photo Credit: ICC
Hayley Matthews believes Deandra Dottin represented the spirit of their West Indies side in their three-run win over hosts New Zealand as the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 got underway.
Dottin’s magical final over spell, which gave her figures of two for two, threatened to overshadow Matthew’s fine all-round performance – a career-best 119 with the bat before taking two for 41 with the ball.
Her opening partner Dottin bravely took the ball for her first over, the final of the game, with New Zealand needing just six runs and three wickets in hand, but having picked up two wickets Dottin knocked the bails off to run out Fran Jonas for the win.
Matthews said: “Shakera Selman I believe it was, who was meant to bowl, and Deandra pretty much just came up and said to Staf [Stafanie Taylor, Windies captain] ‘Give me the ball.’
“We were like when you haven’t bowled in international cricket in about a year now, literally hasn’t bowled to anyone in the nets since we’ve been here.
“She just came and said ‘Give me the ball’ and I think a player like Deandra Dottin when she says to give her the ball, you just give her the ball, it doesn’t matter if she’s bowled in a year, if she hasn’t.
“That’s what’s really good about our team. We’ve got so much experience, and we’ve got so many veterans that we can really call on. People that we know once we call on them, they’re going to get the job done, she was the epitome of that today.”
Dottin and Matthews had got West Indies off to a blistering start having been sent in to bat in Tauranga before Lea Tahuhu dismissed Dottin for 12.
Matthews would go on to make 119 from 128 balls, combining for a useful partnership with Stafanie Taylor (30) before Chedean Nation’s 36 saw the Windies set New Zealand 260 win, a potential record chase for an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
On her own performance, Matthew said: “I think initially going out there to open I probably thought I would try to take it a bit steady.
“I think when we got out there and saw how good the wicket was playing, I was able to capitalise without trying too much.
“That’s pretty much how I just played my whole innings taking it ball by ball. I set small targets with my partner, always looking for partnerships. That happened to work really well and then we were able to push pretty hard at the end.”
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine scored a century of her own, but wasn’t able to get the win as her side opened the World Cup on home soil.
And just like Dottin demonstrated the Windies’ fiery fighting spirit, Devine showed the kind nature of the Kiwis.
She said: “I think full credit has to go the West Indies I thought the way Hayley Matthews played was brilliant and they set the game up well but I thought we were right at it to the last over.
“You don’t get much more clutch than bowler coming into bowl the 50th over and do what Dottin did so look for credit to them but we’ve got to take the positives out of it and we’ve got to move on quickly.
“[I was] a bit disappointed to get out when I did because it was probably just about go-time for me to try and get that run rate down on down a little bit.
“But a fantastic bit of fielding and it is what it is. Again, we’ve got to dust ourselves off and go for Bangladesh.”