SYDNEY, Australia (CMC) — West Indies Women's Captain Hayley Matthews slammed an incredible 132 and led her side for the highest successful run chase of all-time in women's Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), against hosts and world champions Australia Women, on Monday.
The 25-year-old all-rounder cracked 20 fours and five sixes from 64 balls in a breathtaking assault on the Australian bowling, with the Caribbean side successfully chasing 213 to secure a seven-wicket win in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval to level the three-match series 1-1.
It came after Matthews took three for 36 from her allotted four overs with her off-spin, when Australia Women piled up 212 for six after they were put in to bat, and made her a shoo-in for a seventh-straight Player of the Match award in T20s.
"Today was quite incredible," Matthews told reporters at the post-play news conference. "I can't quite find the words yet, but I don't think many days of cricket have beaten that."
Matthews, who made 99 in the first T20I on Sunday at the same venue, followed up with an explosive second T20I hundred that surpassed fellow Barbadian all-rounder Deandra Dottin for the highest score in this format for West Indies Women.
Dottin held the record for the past 13 years after her amazing 112 not out off 40 balls against South Africa Women at Warner Park in St Kitts, at the 2010 Women's T20I World Cup — the first T20I hundred from a man or woman on the international stage.
Matthews also took down another Dottin record for the most runs in boundaries in a Women's T20I, going past her compatriot's seven fours and nine sixes against the Proteas in that World Cup innings in Basseterre.
Fortune favoured Matthews on 30 when Megan Schutt dropped her at deep point off pacer Annabel Sutherland before Phoebe Litchfield — the Aussies batting hero from earlier in the day — put down a regulation chance at cover when she was on 87 off leg-spinner Georgia Wareham.
To a standing ovation before a modest crowd, Matthews brought up her hundred from 53 balls when she drove a delivery from Schutt, bowling her right-arm medium-pace through backward point before taking a four and a six off the next two balls.
Her predecessor as West Indies Women's captain, Stafanie Taylor supported with 59 from 41 balls and shared a record-breaking 174 for the second wicket to put the Caribbean side firmly on track before Megan Schutt bowled her with 28 needed from 18 balls to give Australia a sliver of hope.
The stand was the highest for West Indies Women for any wicket in women's T20Is, breaking the record of 162 unbroken between Matthews and Chedean Nation against Ireland four years ago in Dublin.
Matthews carried her side to within reach of victory with her dizzying batting, hitting Jess Jonassen for four consecutive fours in the penultimate over before the left-arm spinner bowled her behind her back with the penultimate ball of the same over.
"The leadership of the team has definitely helped me to take responsibility of my game, that along with learning and understanding my game a lot more from playing franchise and T20 cricket on the road," Matthews added.
"Two of those put together over the last 12 months have really helped, not only with me scoring runs, but scoring them consistently as well."
She said: "I speak about trying to lead by example, and I think it's something growing up I watched Stafanie do, while I was playing with her in my younger days."
West Indies needed nine from the last seven balls of the match and Chinelle Henry and Shemaine Campbelle, both not out on four, made sure that the efforts of Matthews and Taylor were not ruined, scrambling two to long-on from the off-spin of Ashleigh Gardner to seal the result with one ball left.
The innings from Matthews topped the efforts with the bat, for Australia, of all-rounder Ellyse Perry and Litchfield.
Perry, who did not bowl due to a long-standing knee injury, was the cornerstone for the Aussies with 70 from 46 balls, and Litchfield smashed 52 from 19 balls and equalled the record for the fastest half-century in women's T20Is set by Sophie Devine of New Zealand in a whirlwind finish for the hosts.