Alyssa Healy marked her 250th international appearance with a spectacular performance as Australia cruised to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over West Indies in the T20I series opener at North Sydney Oval. The match witnessed Hayley Matthews’ brilliant innings, but it was Alyssa Healy and Tahlia McGrath who stole the show for the Aussies.
West Indies’ innings was anchored by Hayley Matthews, who blazed an impressive 99 not out off just 74 balls. Despite the early loss of opener Beth Mooney, Australian skipper Alyssa Healy, and Tahlia McGrath combined forces to chase down the target of 148 with ease.
Healy Matthews, becoming the third Australian woman to reach 250 international matches, showcased her prowess with a blistering 56 off 29 balls. Tahlia McGrath joined the party with a commanding 60 not out from 32 deliveries, guiding Australia to victory with 40 balls to spare.
Tahlia McGrath’s performance was a display of strength and precision, reaching her half-century in just 26 balls, while Ashleigh Gardner contributed an unbeaten 13 runs to seal the win for Australia in the 14th over.
Despite Healy Matthews’ heroic innings, which accounted for 67% of West Indies’ total, her quest for a second T20I century was halted when she couldn’t get herself on strike in the final over. Shemaine Campbelle, another West Indies big hitter, was stumped off the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving Matthews stranded on 99.
Australia’s bowlers had their share of ups and downs, with Darcie Brown providing the first breakthrough, while Megan Schutt, in her 100th T20I, finished as the most economical bowler for the Aussies.
Australia’s fielding effort featured some uncharacteristic misfields and drops, but also moments of brilliance, including a direct hit from Phoebe Litchfield. Stafanie Taylor was dismissed thanks to Litchfield’s accuracy.
With the first match of the international season in the books, Australia and West Indies are set to face off again in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval on Monday night. The cricketing world eagerly awaits more thrilling action in this exciting summer series.
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