Mount Maunganui (New Zealand), March 4 (IANS) West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews was all praise for Deandra Dottin who bowled an inspired last over to grab victory from the jaws of defeat against New Zealand in the opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup at the Bay Oval here on Friday.
West Indies Women defeated the Sophie Devine-led New Zealand by three runs after the Caribbean side had scored a competitive 259/9 in 50 overs.
With the White Ferns requiring an easy run-a-ball to win in the last over with three wickets remaining, Dottin — bowling her first over in a crunch situation –, delivered the goods as she trapped Katey Martin lbw off the second ball of the over and then snared Jess Kerr two balls later to bring it down to four off two.
Hannah Rowe missed the penultimate delivery and Fran Jonas, in an attempt to sneak a bye, was run-out at the non-striker’s end to spark celebrations from the West Indies team.
Hayley Matthews, who herself emerged ‘Player of the Match’ following her peerless century and 2/41 with the ball, said she liked the way Dotting walked up to the skipper and said she wanted to bowl the last over.
“Shakera Selman I believe it was, who was meant to bowl, and Deandra pretty much just came up and said to Staf (Stafanie Taylor, Windies captain) ‘Give me the ball.’
“We were like when you haven’t bowled in international cricket in about a year now, literally hasn’t bowled to anyone in the nets since we’ve been here. She just came and said ‘Give me the ball’ and I think a player like Deandra Dottin when she says to give her the ball, you just give her the ball, it doesn’t matter if she’s bowled in a year, if she hasn’t.
“That’s what’s really good about our team. We’ve got so much experience; and we’ve got so many veterans that we can really call on. People that we know once we call on them, they’re going to get the job done, she was the epitome of that today.”
On her own performance, Matthew said, “I think initially going out there to open I probably thought I would try to take it a bit steady. I think when we got out there and saw how good the wicket was playing, I was able to capitalise without trying too much.
“That’s pretty much how I just played my whole innings taking it ball by ball. I set small targets with my partner, always looking for partnerships. That happened to work really well and then we were able to push pretty hard at the end.”