An all-round show by Hayley Matthews (62 and 3/16) helped West Indies seal their spot in the last four of the ICC Women’s World T20 competition with a thumping 83-run win over Sri Lanka at Gros Islet, St.Lucia on Friday. The win also helped England enter the semi-final after they had defeated South Africa in the first match of the day.
Opting to bat, Mathews and Deandra Dottin started aggressively as they struck boundaries at regular intervals. Matthews was harsh on Shashikala Siriwardene in the fourth over, blasting her for two fours and a six. Matthews continued to punish the Sri Lankan bowlers, hammering a six and a four off Kavisha Dilhari. The right-hander notched up her fifty off 25 balls, the second-fastest in the tournament and Sri Lanka did not help their cause by dropping her on 50 off Siriwardene.
The 94-run stand was broken by Oshadi Ranasinghe when Matthews holed out to Hasini Perera. Following her departure, Dottin broke free and smashed five fours in two overs but she was unlucky to miss out on her fifty as she was trapped LBW for 49 by Udeshika Prabhodini. Stephanie Taylor struck a vital cameo laced with four boundaries and two sixes and her 41 off 25 balls helped her to 187/5.
Sri Lanka struggle
Having punished them with the ball, Matthews proceeded to do well with the ball to wreck Sri Lanka. Chamari Atapattu, the skipper, gave Sri Lanka a decent start but she did not get any support with the likes of Shakera Selman, Dottin and Chinelle Henry picking wickets at regular intervals. Matthews sliced through the lower order and ended with figures of 3/16 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 104.
West Indies’ win also helped England progress into the last four after they had defeated South Africa by seven wickets.
Anya Shrubsole, who had taken 6/46 in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup against India in 2017, once again proved to be the trump card as she took a hat-trick. Backed by Natalie Sciver’s magnificent figures of 4-1-4-3, South Africa could manage just 85 runs. In the final over of the innings, Shrubsole got the wickets of Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas and Yolani Fourie to become only the 10th woman bowler to take a hat-trick in Twenty20 Internationals. The England pacer became the first bowler to achieve the feat in the World T20.
England faced few hurdles as they raced to the target to win by seven wickets. Speaking after the end of the match, South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk had said they had let the country down. “The manner of the loss (means) we owe an apology to our whole country, it's not our character to roll over like that. We have the firepower and the talent, but you need to perform at World Cups against quality sides like England. I don't know what's going on, I don't have answers,” van Niekerk said.
West Indies will now face England in the top of the table encounter on Sunday. The winner of this clash will face the loser of the India vs Australia clash in the semi-final.