reviewed by Clayton Goodwin

West Indies set a cracking start to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in beating New Zealand by 3 runs on the penultimate ball of the final over at Bay Oval, Mount Manganui, Tauranga. That last over was as exciting as any I can recall including that pulsating close to the men’s World Cup semi-final between Australia and England at Birmingham in 1999. In that match leg-spinner Shane Warne, whose premature passing at 52 years old was announced today, had played a prominent.

Here 30 year-old Deandra Dottin, starting the 50th over with the home side poised for victory, wrote her own history. She is said to have demanded to have the ball and dismissed Katey Martin and Jess Kerr, whose late-innings partnership had steered New Zealand to the brink of victory as the West Indian fielding appeared to be slipshod and catches were missed, and participated in the run-out of Fran Jonas. The victory, however, had been on the cards since Hayley Matthews, player-of-the-match, had taken the attack to the opposition from the opening deliveries.

The 23 year-old Barbadian hit a sparkling 199 off 128 deliveries. It was her maiden World Cup century and her highest ODI score as West Indies posted 259-9 from their allotted overs. As captain Stafanie Taylor indicated – the high scoring gave the team confidence. New Zealand were on the back-foot in spite of Sophie Devine hitting a hundred in reply. Yet it seemed that the home team might yet wriggle off the hook as the West Indians failed to close down the innings.  Then came that final over – now already written in legend.

Stafanie Taylor said: “The way we played today, set the game up for us. We needed to get over 200, we had a meeting and thought we had to get over 200 to be competitive. Deandra said she wanted the last over and she did it. Selman was supposed to bowl the last, and Deandra said ‘give me the ball’. The bowlers were doing really well, they were brilliant. Expectations from them) We like to fly under the radar, one step at a time.”

West Indies 259-9 beat New Zealand 253 by 3 runs

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