By Scott Bailey
Australia have fallen victim to the greatest women’s Twenty20 run chase of all time, with a Hayley Matthews century helping the West Indies run down the hosts’ 6-212 at North Sydney Oval.
In a mesmerising effort to level the three-match series at 1-1, Matthews blitzed 132 from 64 balls as the West Indies pulled off the victory with one ball and seven wickets to spare.
Hayley Matthews of the West Indies celebrates scoring a century to help her side to a win over Australia.Credit: Getty Images
Stefanie Taylor hit 59 off 41 balls and was bowled by Megan Schutt with 28 runs required from three overs to give Australia a late glimmer of hope.
Matthews then hit 16 runs from the 19th over from Jess Jonassen before being bowled trying to sweep the spinner.
That left Chinelle Henry and Shermane Campbelle needing eight from Ashleigh Gardner’s last over, sealing the win when Campbelle hit two runs to take her side to 3-213 with a ball to spare.
The efforts topped Phoebe Litchfield’s for Australia, who hit an 18-ball half-century to equal Sophie Devine’s record for the fastest half-century in women’s T20 internationals.
Australia’s Phoebe Litchfield.Credit: Getty Images
But it was to be Matthews’ night.
The right-hander powered the ball through and over cover-point at will, punishing Australia every time they went too wide and full on Monday.
She hit five sixes and 20 fours, with Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath and Georgia Wareham and Darcie Brown all going at more than 10 an over.
Some 11 of her fours and three of her sixes came between backward point and cover, as Australia opted not to put a fielder in that position on the rope for the majority of the innings.
The 25-year-old brought up her century off 53 balls when she drove Schutt through backward point, before also dispatching her next two balls to the boundary.
It came after Matthews’ also took 3-36 with the ball, dismissing McGrath, Beth Mooney and Annabel Sutherland.
Matthews’ effort marked the seventh straight game she had been judged player-of-the-match, including in Sunday’s loss to Australia when she hit an unbeaten 99.
Australia did offer some lives.
Matthews was dropped on 30 by Schutt at deep point, before Litchfield put down a regulation chance at cover when she was on 87.
Earlier, the West Indies had started the day in hot fashion when Campbelle leapt high to catch Alyssa Healy first ball at backward point.
Matthews then bowled McGrath in the next over to leave the hosts 2-7, before Ellyse Perry hit 70 off 46 to steady the innings for Australia.
And when 20-year-old Litchfield struck three sixes with some phenomenal stroke-play in her unbeaten 52 from 19, Australia looked headed for victory before Matthews’ heroics.
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