LEICESTER, England – Teenaged opener Hayley Matthews says West Indies Women are still hopeful of making the final four of the ICC Women’s World Cup, despite their nightmare start to the tournament.
The Caribbean are bottom of the eight-team standings without a point, having lost all three games by hefty margins and still with several tough assignments ahead in their remaining four games.
New Zealand Women, one of the tournament favourites, will present a stern challenge for West Indies on Thursday but Matthews said the team remained optimistic.
“We still have a possibility of qualifying, winning four games so I think we just need to go out there and fight as hard as possible for these last couple of games and hope that things go our way,” the 19-year-old told a media conference.
“New Zealand have a very good squad but we do as well. We know that on our day we are capable of beating anyone and once we go out there and perform as well as we know we can and execute our skills as well as we know we can, we will go out there and beat them.”
West Indies lost their two opening games of the tournament last week when they went down to reigning champions Australia Women by eight wickets and to India Women by seven wickets in Taunton.
However, they were at their worst on Sunday as they plunged to a heavy 10-wicket defeat after being bundled out for a shocking 48 – their second lowest-ever total in One-Day Internationals.
Matthews, one of the few in-form players, said the issue with the Windies side was one of lack of execution.
“We didn’t do too well against them in the first game (warm-up) but we looked to come out in this game start fresh [but] I guess we just went out there and weren’t able to execute our skills,” she explained.
“I do think South Africa has a very strong bowling line-up. When you look through all the teams you do see they have a lot of strong players that are capable of taking wickets but I still think it is a matter of us needing to execute our skills a bit better.”
The unflattering run by West Indies has been a big blow to their expectations, especially since entering the ongoing tournament as Twenty20 World champions and losing finalists of the last 50-over World Cup in India four years ago.
And with little to show for their month-long tour after having lost all five of their warm-up matches, Matthews said the Windies needed to also rescue some pride from their remaining fixtures.
“Obviously we didn’t have a good start in our first couple of games and didn’t bounce back very well [yesterday],” the Barbadian noted.
“I think it is a matter where we have to go back to the drawing boards and kind of look at ourselves, and even if we go into the next couple of games try to go into them as head on as possible.
“Even if we can’t qualify, just be able to take something like respect and pride out of those next couple of games.”