A brilliant century and a excellent bowling from West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews led Warriors Women to the FairBreak Invitational title on Sunday, with a convincing 93-run win against Falcons Women. Matthews hit 11 fours and nine sixes in 123 from 52 balls and was the rock upon which Warriors built a challenging total of 230-4 from their allocation of 20 overs in the final at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong.
She returned to bag 2-14 from three overs with her off-spin, and was named Player-of-the-Match. This enabled Warriors to restrict Falcons to 137-8 in their 20 overs. It was the second time in less than one month that Matthews was part of the winning side in a global women’s Twenty20 tournament. She played a starring role in Mumbai Indians Women winning the inaugural Women’s Premier last month, when she was voted Most Valuable Player.
Matthews held the Warriors innings together after they were sent in to bat, and she dominated all four stands of which she was a part, including a 68-run stand for the third wicket with South African Mignon du Preez. When Matthews was dismissed in the 15th over, Warriors were 155-4, and Scotland all-rounder Kathryn Bryce struck eight fours and two sixes in 52 from 20 balls to lead the charge in the closing overs. Bryce shared an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 75 with her captain Sindhu Sriharsha of the United States, who was not out on 25.
Falcons got off to a fast start, with England international Danni Wyatt and Sri Lanka Women’s captain Chamari Athapaththu going at 10 runs an over. When Wyatt was caught behind off Bryce for 20 and Athapaththu went in similar fashion to Matthews, the task became harder.
Falcons captain Suzie Bates, the former New Zealand Women’s captain, made 25 and United Arab Emirates international Theertha Satish got 29 and tried to keep up with the imposing run rate. Their dismissals in the 12th and 16th overs respectively, left Falcons with a mountain, which last year’s beaten finalists.