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Amelia Kerr, Suzie Bates help New Zealand inch past West Indies in dramatic finish

New Zealand 159 for 5 in 33 overs (Bates 51, Kerr 47*, Matthews 3-28) batted West Indies 168 for 7 in 35 overs (Henry 44, Kyshona 36, ​​Jonas 2-22) after five runs (DLS Method)

New Zealand started their West Indies tour and Women’s Championship cycle with success, thanks to Suzie Bates’ 51, Amelia Kerr’s 47* and Fran Jonas’ two-for. Amelia also chipped in with 47* to complete a five-run win via the DLS method.

However, the match did not have a straightforward end. In a 35-overs-a-side contest after a rain delay, West Indies posted 168 for 7. With NZ needing 10 from 12 balls to win, the umpires declared the match over in poor light when the cut-off- the time had come. The umpires shook hands with the West Indies players, leading the hosts to believe they had won the match as they celebrated in a huff. A discussion between the captains of both teams and the umpire ensued, after which it was declared that New Zealand had won the match.

“There was a little bit of confusion,” Amelia said after the game. “The judges said the time (called us in) because of the light. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was ready to end things, but Brooke [Halliday] thought we had won. West Indies thought they had won. Soph [captain Sophie Devine] came in with the referee and cleared things up. It was a strange finish, it was strange to wait when things were sunny (in the morning), but we must not be phased by it.”

West Indies captain Hayley Matthews expressed her disappointment at the way the match ended, but took the positives and defeat in stride.

“The girls fought really well in the first half to get us to the total we got, so kudos to Kyshona and Chinelle,” Matthews said. “We took some crucial wickets in the middle after the start New Zealand got. Of course it’s disappointing the way the game ended, but overall I think it was a good first game.”

The start was delayed before the start of a wet track. Devine elected to bowl as he won the toss.

West Indies started well in the powerplay with seven overs and scored 36 for the loss of Rashada Williams. But in the next few overs, wickets fell consistently. Hannah Rowe caught Natasha McLean behind before Jonas stood in for Stafanie Taylor and captain Hayley Matthews.

The following five and a half overs went for nine runs and the pressure translated to Shabika Gajnabi’s run-out. But then Kyshona Knight and Chinelle Henry fought back with an 83-run partnership that held the innings together. Henry was the aggressor, making 44 with five boundaries at a strike rate of 129. Kyshona finished with 36 off 61.

New Zealand’s chase began with ease and regular boundaries. In the fifth over, Bates went after Shamilia Connell and picked up three fours, bringing Karishma Ramharack into the attack. Nevertheless, the pair continued to score freely and brought up their fifty partnership off just 45 balls. It was Matthews who provided the breakthrough with Devine’s wicket.

The quick start gave Bates and Amelia time to kiss along with singles and the odd border. Bates reached fifty and the partnership was on its way there. But with the stand on 47, Afy Fletcher intervened by removing Bates, who was also caught by Kyshona.

The back of the chase was broken further by a 31-run stand that ensued between Amelia and Maddy Green. Amelia marched along, undeterred by Hayley Jensen, who gave Kyshona her third catch, to keep them abreast of the DLS score. The boundary she scored just after the dismissal brought the asking rate down to five. Brooke Halliday joined Amelia to milk five singles from the next over.

It was after the 33rd over when poor light stopped play. 13 runs had been scored from the two overs before the stop, which had put the visitors five runs above the DLS par score.

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