A brilliant century by opener Sophie Devine and some calm heads in the field have helped the WHITE FERNS to a thrilling one-run win over the West Indies at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln today.
Having been sent into bat in the opening game of the three-match ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) series, the hosts posted 287-9 from their 50 overs, led by a strong showing from the top order.
West Indies captain Stefanie Taylor lead the reply with 90 from 93 balls and the game went down to the last over, with the visitors requiring 11 runs for victory.
Off-spinner Leigh Kasperek was given the ball and held her nerve, conceding just nine runs and picking up a wicket to see the WHITE FERNS home in dramatic style.
Earlier, Devine and captain Suzie Bates (44) laid the foundation with a swift 76-run opening partnership.
Devine also found support from Amy Satterthwaite (27) and Katey Martin (22) as the WHITE FERNS stared down a big total.
They were 200-3 after 35 overs when Devine nudged the ball into the on-side for a single to bring up her third ODI century.
The Wellington Blaze all-rounder plundered one more six, her tenth boundary of the
Devine’s dismissal gave the West Indies confidence as they began to reduce the run-rate and take regular wickets.
The tourists looked to have limited the WHITE FERNS to a score of around 250, but Leigh Kasperek (19*) and Holly Huddleston (16*) had other ideas, combining for a 27-run final wicket stand.
The WHITE FERNS made a strong start with the ball.
The West Indies were 31-0 after seven overs when the pace-bowler Huddleston (2-40) came into the attack and struck straight away, removing Hayley Matthews for 18.
The home side continued to restrict the run-rate as captain Suzie Bates rotated the bowlers.
Kasperek was next to strike in her second spell, trapping Kycia Knight LBW for 38 to leave the West Indies 88-2 in the 21st over.
The West Indies clawed their way back into the match with Taylor and Chedean Nation putting on 64 runs for the third
Teenage leg-spinner Amelia Kerr then got in on the act with a great caught and bowled to dismiss the dangerous Deandra Dottin, before debutant Lauren Down was summoned into action with an excellent diving catch behind the wicket to dismiss Britney Cooper.
With Taylor at the crease, the West Indies were always in the hunt and she had her team believing they could win at 215-6 in the 43rd
Kyshona Knight and Merissa Aguilleira then provided some late hitting to take the game to the final over.
Kasperek was given the ball and conceded just two runs off the first three balls.
A four off the penultimate delivery saw the equation shrink to four runs to win off the final ball, which was lofted down the grounds for two runs, giving the WHITE FERNS the tightest of victories.
The second ODI of the GJ Gardner Homes Series will be back at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on