Matthews hoping for final flourish after sliding down order
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC) — West Indies Captain Hayley Matthews is hoping for a strong finish to the Women’s Big Bash League, after failing to get among the runs for Melbourne Renegades in the first 10 games of the season.
The right-hander, who is also leading Renegades for the campaign, has gathered only 139 runs from 10 innings at an average of just under 13, with a highest score of 32 — coming on Sunday in a painful four-run loss to cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars.
In the outing at Junction Oval, Matthews slipped down the order to number four from her usual opening position, and now hopes the move can also pay dividends.
“It was nice to get out there and have a bit of space and a bit of time in the middle of the innings,” said the 26-year-old.
“It would’ve been great if I’d been able to take it home in the end but at the same time, it’s a good start for me late on in the tournament.
“Hopefully, I can kick on from here and bring a lot more to the Renegades throughout the end of the season.”
Matthews’ struggles have mirrored those of the Renegades, the franchise having now lost eight-straight games and nine of 10 for the season.
They lie rock bottom of the eight-team league with two points and, with only four games remaining in their campaign, have already been eliminated from qualifying for the championship game.
With their latest defeat coming at the hands of Stars, Matthews said that result had been especially painful.
“Playing with the Renegades for two years, playing against the Stars is definitely a big rivalry and it’s a bit disappointing not to get over the [line] in a close game,” she said.
“But at the same time, we’ve got another opportunity in a week-and-a-half or so to look at what we didn’t do so well and come back really good against them.
“We’ve kind of got to move on really quickly and get into our other round of games and just prepare our best for that last one.”
The Stars defeat came just 24 hours following a chastening 10-wicket drubbing at the hands of Perth Scorchers, and Matthews said she was proud of the way her team had responded.
“Playing [on Saturday] against the Scorchers, they would’ve had quite a convincing win with bat and ball and obviously [it was] not our best game,” she said.
“But to be able to come back and bounce back really well — for the bowlers to be able to bowl the way they did and restrict them to under 150 — was great to see.
“I would’ve loved to chase it [target] but at the same time, [it was] really good to see contributions from all over the team.”
Renegades play their next game on Friday against Brisbane Heat.