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Matthews leads West Indies Women to exciting 2-wicket win Over Ireland Loop Jamaica

West Indies Women secured a thrilling two-wicket victory over Ireland in the first T20 International, led by an outstanding all-round performance from captain Hayley Matthews.

The match, held at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Tuesday night, resulted in the Caribbean women taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Ireland, batting first, struggled to gain momentum and were limited to 112 for seven in their allotted 20 overs. This was primarily due to the economical and accurate bowling displayed by Matthews, who claimed three wickets for 22 runs in her four overs, and Cherry-Ann Fraser, who recorded figures of two for 22. Ashmini Munisar, making her debut, also made a notable contribution by taking one wicket for 16 runs.

Ireland’s captain, Laura Delany, top-scored with 34 runs, while Eimear Richardson added 22 runs to the total.

Chasing a target of 113, the West Indies experienced regular setbacks, which impeded their scoring rate and intensified the contest until the last ball.

Matthews showcased her leadership skills by scoring the highest individual total of 37 runs. Afy Fletcher contributed a valuable 19 runs when the game seemed to be slipping away from the home team. However, it was vice-captain Shemaine Campbelle who guided the team to a final-ball single, securing the victory.

Reflecting on the match, Matthews acknowledged the nerve-wracking moments in the end but emphasised the positive aspects of the team’s performance.

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“We did a good job restricting Ireland to 112 on a really good batting wicket. I was happy to contribute to the win. Ashmini Munisar, making her debut, how economical she bowled and taking her first wicket was one of the positives and it’s a good sign for the future,” said Matthews.

The West Indies Women will aim to extend their lead to 2-0 in the series when they face Ireland once again at the same venue on Thursday.