CAPE TOWN: West Indian captain Hayley Matthews struck an unbeaten 66 in a crucial run chase and powered her side to beat Ireland and keep their semi-final hopes alive in the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Set to chase 140, West Indies amassed the total on the second-last delivery of the match at the back of a magnificent knock by their captain Matthews.
West Indies got off to a dismal start to the run chase as the side lost two wickets for a mere 46 runs in the ninth over as Rashada Williams (17) and Shemaine Campbelle (8) perished cheaply.
Following the early setback, Matthews partnered strongly with Chinelle Henry for the third wicket and anchored the run chase as the duo added 74 runs at a quick rate.
The stand appeared solid and West Indies were looking favourites to claim a comfortable victory before Leah Paul dismissed Henry and broke the crucial partnership to bring Ireland back into the game.
Henry scored 34 off 28 deliveries with the help of four boundaries.
Matthews, on the other hand, held his ground firm and made sure to steer her side to glory despite West Indies dealt with another blow in the final over as Shabika Gajnabi was run out for 13.
West Indian captain remained the top-scorer for her side with 66 off just 53 deliveries, laced with eight boundaries and a six.
For Ireland, Laura Delany and Paul could pick up a wicket.
Batting first, Ireland’s batting lineup faltered completely and could only raise 139/9 in their allotted 20 overs Orla Prendergast’s 61.
Ireland too, had a poor start to their innings as their opener Amy Hunter perished for one in the second over.
With the side dented with an early blow, Prendergast and Gaby Lewis anchored the innings with a valiant 90-run partnership for the second wicket before the former perished in the 13th over.
Prendergast top-scored for Ireland with 61 off just 47 balls, hitting six boundaries and a six.
Lewis then put on a brief 25-run partnership for the third wicket with Eimear Richardson but Karishma Ramharack trapped the former in her legs to cease the budding partnership.
Lewis could score 38 off 34, hitting six boundaries.
Meanwhile, her dismissal triggered a frustrating collapse that resulted in Ireland slipping from 116/3 to 137/9 with Richardson also making her way back after scoring 13.
Shamilia Connell led the bowling attack for West Indies with 3/24 while Afy Fletcher and Ramharack bagged two wickets each. Matthews, on the other hand, made one scalp.
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