Barbados Royals kicked off the 2023 Massy Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) with a thrilling final over chase at Kensington Oval, Barbados.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, the Amazon Warriors produced a record-breaking innings on their route to 166/2 from their 20 overs.
Sophie Devine became the second New Zealander in as many days to hit a CPL century, following on from Martin Guptill’s knock with 103 not out from 64 balls, bringing up the landmark score on the final delivery of the innings with a six over long-off.
Facing a difficult task, the Royals appeared to lack power until Laura Harris took the 15th over for 24 to put the game in the balance. With 43 still required from five overs, Erin Burns and Chinelle Henry saw the hosts home with two balls to spare.
With Devine leading the way a day before her 35th birthday, the Warriors kept wickets in hand throughout their innings while maintaining a strong run rate as they ended an explosive PowerPlay 50/0.
Royals captain Hayley Matthews used 12 overs of spin consecutively in the innings in attempt to slow the visitors through the middle overs, before the Amazon Warriors blasted 62 from the final five overs to break the WCPL record for highest total.
Amanda-Jade Wellington should have had Devine out for 41 in the ninth over when a false shot brought a straightforward chance for Afy Fletcher at short cover which was dropped, while the score was still wicketless.
The Royals were facing an uphill battle chasing 167 in the early stages; Matthews’ dismissal for 23 was a setback after a steady powerplay at a-run-a-ball. Gaby Lewis played a superb 360-degree knock which brought hope for the Royals which was backed up by Harris’ spectacular 30 from just 12 balls.
Shabnim Ismail produced a brilliant 19th over, conceding just three runs but with just nine runs to win from the final over, Suzie Bates couldn’t stop an in-form Erin Burns from closing out the chase
Barbados Royals are in action again on Saturday as they face defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.