The West Indies made history with the highest ever score in women's T20I cricket, but can they clinch the series?

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On the heels of the West Indies Women's Cricket team successfully chasing down the highest ever total in women's cricket T20I history on October 2 — with a surplus of one ball and seven wickets — the Caribbean blogosphere has been jubilant over the 213-run victory. The outstanding win was secured in part by the phenomenal performance of the team captain, Barbadian Hayley Matthews, who scored 132 runs off 64 balls against Australia at the North Sydney Oval:

The team's stellar performance evened out the three-match series, placing the West Indies in a strategic position to cop a series win over the current women's world champions. The decider match is scheduled to be played on Thursday, October 5, at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time (7:00 p.m. Australian Eastern Daylight Time) at Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Should the West Indies emerge triumphant, it would be a high point for a team that only recently came out the other side of a 15-match losing streak, and for a region that once dominated the sport.

Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket that is played between members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in which each team faces a maximum of 20 overs, as opposed to traditional test cricket, where a match consists of four innings, played over the course of as many as five days.

Quite fittingly, Barbados’ prime minister, Mia Mottley, was one of the first to congratulate Matthews and her team on their achievement, saying on her Instagram page:

I’m so proud to see Barbados’ very own cricketing star […] cement her place as the #1 All-Rounder in the ICC Women’s T20I Rankings.

This comes after her phenomenal performance against Australia, where she scored 132 runs – the highest individual score by a woman West Indian cricketer in T20I, took 3 wickets – making her only the 2nd woman in all T20I to score a century and take 3 wickets – and helped the West Indies complete what is now the highest run chase in Women's T20I cricket.

This record-breaking performance saw her secure her 7th consecutive Player of the Match award.

I know that all Barbadians and indeed West Indians recognise your cricketing excellence and we salute you and the Windies on your victory.

One international cricket page called the win “historic,” while dubbed it “a seriously good knock from Hayley Matthews.”

Prior to the October 2 match, Australia fan Andrea Jones quipped:

Australia Women are always a very hard team to beat anywhere in the world but particularly at home. Player for player, of the West Indies Women’s team, only Hayley Matthews would get into Australia Women’s side, and we expect a one-sided contest on Monday. Our prediction is for Australia Women to win easily again.

Post-match, however, Caribbean cricket fans were eager to learn more about Matthews, while the Australian team was gracious about their defeat, though seemingly even more determined to prove their mettle in the third match:

Caribbean netizens and cricket fans will be tuning in to see whether the region's “calypso” brand of cricket will emerge triumphant against the reigning world champs.

Update, October 5, 2023 — Australia won the third match by 47 runs to win the series.

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