Matthews credits captaincy, franchise cricket for improvement in batting
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
West Indies Women's captain Hayley Matthews said the responsibility that comes with the role and her exposure to franchise cricket over the past couple of years were key factors in the improvements to her batting.
The 25-year-old all-rounder hammered an incredible 132, and West Indies Women 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.
"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.
"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 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."
Taylor made 59 from 41 balls, and Matthews combined with her predecessor as West Indies captain for a record 174-run partnership for the second wicket, while the Australians were left to rue a couple of dropped chances during the run chase just when the two batting stalwarts for the visitors started to believe.
"Steph and I really started to have a look at chasing it when I think we needed 105 from 54 balls," she said. "At that moment, with the momentum we had, we really spoke about trying to go as hard as we could from both ends with the wickets we had in hand.
"Kudos to her as well. She had an amazing knock at the other end. It took so much pressure off me and kept the boundaries flowing.
"It was a very long day," Matthews said. "After getting so close to a score, chasing 212 doesn't come every day, especially for our team, you really want to get over that line," Matthews said.