West Indies bowlers Hayley Matthews and Afy Fletcher produced superb spells as the team managed to defend a small total and earn full points in the ICC Women’s World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Bay Oval here on Friday.
Defending 140/9, the Stafanie Taylor-led West Indies bundled out the gritty World Cup debutants for 136 with just three balls to spare in a thriller.
West Indies have climbed to third position on the table with six points from three wins out of five, while Bangladesh are seventh with two points from four games.
In the end, it came down to the final six balls in Tauranga, with experienced West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor (3/29) bowling to Nahida Akter (25 not out) and Bangladesh still requiring eight runs for victory with just one wicket in hand.
Taylor once again delivered for her country when required as Fariha Trisna fell for a duck on the third ball of the over to hand West Indies the narrow victory.
It was a polished performance with the ball from spinners Hayley Matthews (4/14) and Afy Fletcher (3/29) that did the majority of the damage for West Indies, while wicketkeeper Shemaine Campbelle (53 not out) also performed well to help pace a batting innings that failed to reach any great heights.
Bangladesh spinners Salma Khatun (2/23) and Akter (2/23) can hold their heads high, with skipper Nigar Sultana (25) emerging the equal top-scorer in what was a disappointing batting performance by the sub-continental side.
It was a case of what could have been for the gritty Bangladesh team, who failed to capitalise on an excellent effort with the ball and in the field as they put the clamps on a strong West Indies’ batting line-up.
Campbelle’s half-century was the sole highlight with the bat for the winners, with Deandra Dottin (17), Matthews (18) and Taylor (4) all falling cheaply.
West Indies needed to take early wickets in reply to have any chance and it was Matthews that stepped up when needed when she trapped Shamima Sultana LBW for a duck in the opening over of the chase.
Fargana Hoque (23) and Sultana looked assured at the crease as they took the score along to 60/2, but Fletcher’s three-wicket haul during the middle overs turned the game on its head as the score quickly went to 60/5.
Matthews returned to pick up two more wickets — including the key scalp of Sultana — before Taylor came through with the goods in the final over to seal the result.
Brief scores: West Indies 140/9 in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 53 not out; Salma Khatun 2/23, Nahida Akter 2/23) beat Bangladesh 136 in 49.3 overs (Nigar Sultana 25; Nahida Akter 25 not out; Hayley Matthews 4/15, Afy Fletcher 3/29, Stafanie Taylor 3/29) by four runs.