ST JOHN’S, Antigua – New Zealand women pulled off a thriller to win the second T20 International against the West Indies Women by six wickets, with one ball remaining, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.
Batting first, the West Indies had a difficult time getting the scoring going as New Zealand bowlers were much more consistent in their line and length.
Skipper Hayley Matthews struck one boundary on her way to a eight off 13 balls before she had a big nick behind to keeper Izzy Gaze of Hayley Jensen. Aaliyah Alleyne who punished the White Ferns bowlers in the first match, struggled to get going in this match, Eden Carson who replaced Lea Tahuhu in the White Ferns team, had Alleyne caught for 13 which came off 19 balls.
Kyshona Knight and Chinelle Henry struck a 31-run partnership when the home side needed it the most. Knight fell eight runs short of a half-century, she made 42, which included five fours.
Henry made 24 off 22 balls with two fours and a six – which included 18 runs from the last over and this helped West Indies finished their innings on 107-5. Jensen was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, finishing with figures of 4-0-24-3, followed by Eden Carson with 4-0-12-2.
In reply, Suzie Bates smacked six fours on her way 54 off 61 balls, and was well supported by Amelia Kerr with 21 from 25 balls. The visitors looked set for victory before two wickets from Cherry-Ann Fraser in the 18th over, swung the match back in the West Indies favour.
However, the 19th over went for 10 runs which meant New Zealand needed seven runs in the last over, which they achieved with one ball to spare. Fraser had the best bowling figures, finishing with 2.5-0-13-1 followed by off-spinner Karishma Ramharack 4-0-23-1.
Knight spoke after the match. She said: “I got a promotion to bat at (number) three, so my role was to bat as deep as possible. My plan was to back myself and to rotate the strike for the hitters and help get the team to a decent total. It was extremely hot there today, probably one of the hottest we’ve experienced so far, and the ball was holding on the pitch more than usual, so that made batting a bit tricky. We’re looking forward to regrouping and coming back for the third match.”
The two teams will return to the same venue on Sunday for the third T20I in the five-match series. First ball is at 1:30pm Eastern Caribbean/12:30pm Jamaica time.