Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ICC: Matthews credits Windies fielding for Pakistan triumph

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Photo Credit: ICC

Hayley Matthews hailed West Indies’ fielding as the key to their thrilling three-run triumph over Pakistan.

Matthews dragged her side to victory, scoring a smart 20 having chosen to bat and then two for 14 with the ball either side of a brilliant catch.

But the Windies skipper reserved special praise for her players’ tenacity in the field as they successfully defended a paltry target of 117.

She said: “As West Indians we tend to take the games a bit close! We’re just really happy to get over the line in the end.

“We knew we had to be extra special in the field. We spoke about really getting our bodies behind the ball and not only winning it with bat and ball but also with our fielding.

“My catch was one of those reaction ones, stuck in the middle of the palm and I’m happy to contribute.”

Matthews has made scores of 42 and 66 in South Africa and has often played a lone hand with the bat.

Against Pakistan she was backed up by keeper-batter Rashada Williams who anchored the innings with a composed 30 and lifted her side to a defendable total.

It has been a turbulent few months for Windies, without a win in the T20I format since September before beating Ireland, now celebrating back-to-back wins and mathematically still in contention for the semi-finals.

“We’ve had a tough couple of months but it’s really good we have been able to bring the momentum in and play a hard game,” said Matthews.

“We need a couple of results to go our way (to qualify) but all we could do was come out and play well.

“We have a lot of young players coming in and the older girls are supporting them. It’s brilliant to see them get the opportunity to play in a tournament like this.
“It is going to be an exciting journey to see them progress.”

Pakistan’s campaign hasn’t got out of first gear with victory over Ireland sandwiched by morale-sapping defeats to rivals India and now West Indies.

They found a semblance of control in the middle overs through the spin of Sadia Iqbal and Nidar Dar but struggled to find the boundary in reply and left their excellent finishers with too much to do.

Captain Bismah Maroof said: “It is hurtful. It was a very close match and we weren’t up to the mark with the bat.

“The wickets are very slow and their spin department is very good. The match against England is very important for us, I think we have played good cricket and hopefully we continue that.”

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