HAMILTON, New Zealand- The WINDIES Women have concluded their tour of New Zealand with a 7-wicket defeat in the 5thT20 International versus New Zealand White Ferns to lose the series 4-0 at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
For only the second time in seven matches, White Ferns Captain, Suzie Bates won the toss and sent the WINDIES women in to bat first on a hot and sunny day in Hamilton. The defending ICC World T20 Champions had the perfect start when openers, Captain Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews began smashing the ball around the Park, for the fastest opening runs of the WINDIES Women tour. 50 runs came in just 19 minutes from 30 deliveries. The determination and urgency to finish the tour on a winning note was evident when Taylor and Matthews dispatched Lea Tahuhu for 2 fours in the opening over. Then Matthews took 14 runs from Hannah Rowe in the 2 over, which included 3 consecutive boundaries. Captain Taylor also stamped her name on the game, taking 9 runs from Tahuhu’s second over, carting her for six from a flick off her legs. Sophie Devine also felt the brunt of Matthews’ bat. The youngster looked fearless hitting a six and four back to back. The WINDIES Women openers found a rhythm and looked set to post a mammoth target for the hosts. That was until the 8th over when the ever-dangerous Leigh Kasperek had Matthews caught for 40, just when she looked set to get a second half-century during this T20 series. The broken partnership dramatically slowed down the WINDIES Women scoring, as Captain Taylor then had to take charge and steer the innings back on course. Chedean Nation made 6 before she was caught behind off Tahuhu. Taylor carried on, now joined by Dottin and the pair took the quick singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Upon the start of this T20 series, Stafanie Taylor was 81 runs from becoming the highest runs-scorer in women’s T20 cricket. Today Sophie Devine had her caught at long-off for 42, still 24 runs short of topping the list of most women’s T20 career runs. Deandra Dottin was the only other batter to reach double figures, smashing 5 fours on her way to 33. WINDIES Women posted 139/5 from their 20 overs. Bowling for the White Ferns, Leigh Kasperek took 2/19 followed by Lea Tahuhu with 2/27.
New Zealand switched up the opening pair, with Natalie Dodd and Sophie Devine taking first strike. Connell started off the opening over with a wide then Dodd punished her with 2 boundaries, but Connell had the last laugh as Dodd was caught behind for 8. Devine then reciprocated with her bat against Hayley Matthews in the second over, hitting a six and four. Matthews conceded 14 runs in her opening over. Connell then returned and swung the match back in favour of the WINDIES Women. She removed Maddy Green for 3 and Devine for 15. This had New Zealand women reeling on 27/3 in the 3rd over. The WINDIES Women’s bowlers then lost the momentum. Amy Satterthwaite and Katey Martin dropped anchor and rebuilt the White Ferns innings. Wayward bowling and slow fielding costed the WINDIES Women the match as the Satterthwaite/Martin combination was speeding towards the target. Stafanie Taylor introduced herself into the attack to try and stem the flow of runs. However, the support she had from her bowlers in the previous match was not to be in this game. Martin brought up another half-century for this T20 series, she finished the match on 54 not out which included 10 fours, while Amy Satterthwaite was on 43 not out. The New Zealand White Ferns reached the target of 140/3 in 16.2 overs. WINDIES Women’s bowler, Shamilia Connell had figures of 3/35. Speaking after the match, WINDIES Women Captain Stafanie Taylor said the team’s performance in New Zealand had improved compared to the last time they toured, despite losing both the ODI and T20 series, 3-0 and 4-0 respectively and they will build on the improvements. “We just have to use this tour as a stepping stone as we have the World Cup coming up in November and we’re defending our title at home. I’m hoping we have a tour and a camp for a few months to help increase our preparations as a team since we all live in different territories.”
Katey Martin was Player of the Match and Player of the Series