Matthews: Captaincy, franchise cricket have helped my batting
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews says the responsibility that comes with the role, and her exposure to franchise cricket over the past two years, were key factors in the improvements to her batting.
The 25-year-old all-rounder hammered an incredible 132 and her side pulled off the highest successful run chase of all-time in women’s Twenty20 Internationals against hosts, world No. 1 and world champions Australia Women, yesterday.
Matthews smashed 20 fours and five sixes from 64 balls in a breath-taking assault on the Australian bowling, and the Caribbean side successfully chased 213 to secure a seven-wicket win in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval, to level the three-match series 1-1.
“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.”
Her batting performance came after she took three for 36 from her allotted four overs with her off-spin, while Australia Women piled up 212 for six after they were put in to bat, and it made her a shoo-in for a seventh straight Player-of-the-Match award in T20s.
Matthews made an unbeaten 99 in the first T20I, which her side lost by eight wickets on Sunday at the same venue. But she made sure that she did not miss out at the second time of asking with her dynamic second T20I hundred.
“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,” she 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 (former captain Stafanie Taylor) do while I was playing with her in my younger days.
“Since I’ve taken over the role, I’ve really tried to emulate that and take responsibility and set a really good example for the young girls.”