In an enthralling showdown, the Barbados Royals emerged victorious in the inaugural Women’s Caribbean Premier League final, defeating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by eight runs. The match, filled with drama and standout performances, showcased women’s cricket’s exceptional talent and competitive spirit in the Caribbean.
The Barbados Royals had their star in Hayley Matthews, who delivered an all-around performance that will be remembered for years. Matthews, the captain of the Royals, played a pivotal role in securing her team’s victory. She exhibited her batting prowess by scoring a remarkable 82 runs from just 59 balls, laying the foundation for her team’s total of 169 for 7.
But Matthews didn’t stop there. She showcased her bowling skills by claiming two crucial wickets with her off-spin, adding to her impressive contributions.
Chasing a competitive target, the Guyana Amazon Warriors began their innings on a positive note, scoring 47 runs for the loss of one wicket during the powerplay. The opening pair of Sophie Devine (22) and Suzie Bates (36) set a solid foundation, raising hopes for the Amazon Warriors.
Shemaine Campbelle and Natasha McLean played pivotal roles as the middle order took charge. Campbelle contributed an unbeaten 47, while McLean added 28 runs to the scoreboard. Their partnership pushed the equation down to 29 runs required from 15 balls, keeping the Amazon Warriors in the hunt.
However, cricket is known for its unpredictability, and a single moment can change the course of a game. McLean’s unfortunate run-out proved to be the turning point. The Amazon Warriors went from 141 for 3 to 161 for 8, losing momentum and struggling to recover.
The Barbados Royals owed much of their victory to Amanda-Jade Wellington, the Australian legspinner. Wellington showcased her mastery in the crucial 19th over, claiming three wickets. She managed to stump Shabika Gajnabi, Shreyanka Patil, and Sheneta Grimmond, all in the same over. Wellington finished with outstanding figures of 4 for 23, which included the crucial wicket of Stefanie Taylor just after the powerplay.
Earlier in the game, the Royals had faced a challenging situation when they lost their opener, Gaby Lewis, for 21 in the fifth over, courtesy of a delivery by Shabnim Ismail. This setback propelled Matthews to take charge of the innings. She exhibited exceptional skills, striking ten fours and two sixes during her knock.
Matthews partnered with Rashada Williams, and the duo stitched together a match-saving partnership of 108 runs for the second wicket. Williams contributed 36 runs from 23 balls, providing valuable support to her captain.
Shabnim Ismail, the pacer from Guyana, was a standout performer for the Amazon Warriors. She finished with impressive figures of 4 for 30, claiming crucial wickets in the 17th over to remove Williams and Laura Harris. Ismail’s efforts momentarily put pressure on the Royals, losing four wickets for just five runs in 11 balls.
Sophie Devine, who had a stellar tournament with 253 runs and five wickets in five innings, was deservedly adjudged the Player of the Series. Her consistent performances played a significant role in the Amazon Warriors’ journey to the final.
Shreyanka, an uncapped Indian all-rounder, finished as the highest wicket-taker in the competition, securing nine scalps. Her ability to pick up wickets at crucial moments made her a valuable asset for her team.