Marvelous Matthews Masters Monster Run Chase

THE West Indies have pulled off the biggest ever run chase to upset the Australians and level their T20 series at one match each.

Despite Australia’s monstrous score, Hayley Matthews’ stellar innings, combined with some poor catching in the field from the hosts, ensured the West Indies got over the line.

The Australians batted first, and things could not have started much worse for the hosts when Alyssa Healy was the victim of a superb Shemaine Campbelle catch and dismissed for a duck off the very first ball. Australia’s other star with the bat from the day before Tahlia McGrath was gone 11 balls later and the Australians were in real trouble.

It was not until a 70-run partnership between Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney that things finally started to get back on track for the Australians.

After another mini falter halfway through the innings, a 66-run, 22-ball partnership between Phoebe Litchfield and Georgia Wareham really catapulted the Australian innings to what is normally an extremely competitive total of 6/212 from their 20 overs. Litchfield’s strike rate was so fast she equalled Sophie Devine’s record for the fastest women’s T20 half century.

Litchfield finished on 52 not out, but it was Perry who top scored with 70.

Meanwhile for the West Indies it was their skipper Matthews who starred with the ball, taking 3/36 from her four overs. Shamilia Connell picked up two wickets, while Chinelle Henry picked up the other wicket.

In the chase the Australians started well enough, picking up a wicket in the third over with the West Indian score at only 11, but then things started to fall apart for the hosts.

Poor catching and sloppy bowling from the Australians meant that particularly Matthews and Stefanie Taylor were really able to propel the score forward, and as they got more and more comfortable at the crease they became harder and harder to dismiss. Matthews and Taylor ultimately put on a 174 run partnership, and the Australians certainly had their chances to dismiss the pair but dropped a number of catches they should have taken. Matthews finished on 132, while Taylor made 59.

Although it did ultimately come down to the last few balls, the West Indies ultimately proved too strong and reached the target.

Meanwhile for the Australians Megan Schutt took two wickets and Jess Jonassen took one.

The series decider takes place in Brisbane on Thursday.

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