MOUNT MAUNGANUI: Deandra Dottin complemented Hayley Matthews‘ whirlwind century with an immaculate last over as West Indies notched up a stunning three-run victory over the fancied New Zealand in the Women’s ODI World Cup opener at the Bay Oval here on Friday.
Hayley smashed a 128-ball 119 (16×4, 1×6) but the rest of their batters failed to convert their starts as West Indies set up a 260-run target after the White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine opted to field.
In reply, the 2000 champions rode on Devine’s chancy 108 to overcome a shaky start but only to choke in the final over.
Needing six runs in the final over, New Zealand lost three wickets in four balls to get all out for 256 in 49.5 overs with pace bowling allrounder Dottin returning with splendid figures of 0.5-0-2-2.
Having survived some anxious moments both in the form of a run-out and a couple of missed catches, Devine completed her sixth ODI century but could not take her team over the line.
Chinelle Henry took a spectacular return catch to dismiss the White Ferns captain in the 45th over, something that revived the Windies hopes before the veteran allrounder Dottin sealed the issue.
Asked to defend six runs in the last over with New Zealand having three wickets intact, Dottin claimed two wickets in three balls, before the 17-year-old Fran Jonas was run out in the fifth ball to concede the Windies a thrilling win.
Windies turned the match around after Henry took a juggling return catch to dismiss the centurion Devine.
The win would have come easy but the West Indies were sloppy on the field as they leaked runs in plenty and dropped a slew of catches.
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Devine was dropped twice, once on 37 and then on 74, as the skipper also survived after West Indies did not review a close lbw call from the bowling of Aaliyah Alleyne.
Devine’s knock meant the hosts were comfortably placed with 39 runs needed from 30 balls with Katey Martin taking on the charge with a 47-ball 44.
Katey smashed back-to-back fours off Henry in the penultimate over to make it a simple equation of six runs off six deliveries.
Under pressure, the Windies decided to give the task to Dottin after much discussions in the middle as the veteran pacer trapped Katey in her second delivery with a perfect yorker.
Earlier, the hosts suffered an early jolt when their experienced opener Suzie Bates (3) was out in the fourth over as they got off to a slow start with just one boundary in the first six overs.
Bates, who is leading centurion (11) for New Zealand and second-highest overall after Australia’s Meg Lanning was run out in the fourth over.
In-form Amelia Kerr, who scored 353 runs at an average of 117.66 in their 4-1 series win over 2017 finalists India in the build up to the World Cup, fell cheaply for 13 after being trapped by Matthews inside 12 overs.
Pressure kept mounting on New Zealand with the asking rate creeping above six but Devine kept them in the hunt.
On the way to her century, Devine also entered the 3000 ODI run club when she cut Anisa Mohammed for a boundary in the 34th over.
For the Windies, Anisa Mohammed and Hayley Matthews also grabbed two wickets each.
Anisa became the fourth woman cricketer to take 300 wickets when she went through Lea Tahuhu’s defence with a low ball that sharply turned in.
Indian pace icon Jhulan Goswami, Australia’s Ellyse Perry and England’s Katherine Brunt are the other three in the elite 300-club.
Earlier, promoted to open, Hayley became the third cricketer from her country to score an ODI World Cup century when she slammed 119 from 128 balls, with 16 fours and one six.
Lea Tahuhu was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers as she returned with 3 for 57.
She dismissed the explosive batter Dottin in the first ball off her second over, and No 3 Kycia Knight got out in the sixth over before.
Hayley rebuilt the innings first with skipper Stafanie Taylor (20).
After Stafanie, Shemaine Campbelle joined Hayley in the middle as the duo put on 60 runs for the fourth wicket.
In the 29th over, Hayley upped the ante clubbing Fran Jonas for two fours in the first two balls of the 11-run over.
After Hayley’s departure, Chedean Nation’s 46-ball 36 and Anisa’s 11 from 6 deliveries propelled them to their third-highest ODI World Cup total.