Twitter Reactions: West Indies keep semi-final hopes alive, knock Ireland out in nail-biting thriller

West Indies won the game on the penultimate delivery of the final over during the chase.

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West Indies Women's Team
West Indies Women's Team. (Photo Source: Twitter/ICC)

A brilliant half-century by Hayley Matthews helped the West Indies defeat Ireland, at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, by six wickets in the 13th game of the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup. It appeared as though Ireland would secure a historic victory when Shabika Gajnabi (13 off 7) was run out with three deliveries remaining as the West Indies needed six runs in the ultimate over to tie the score at 138.

When West Indies needed two runs to win off the penultimate delivery, skipper Matthews hit a brilliant boundary over extra cover off opposition skipper Laura Delany’s full-toss and took the Windies home. Though they claimed a nail-biting win, West Indies' chances of advancing to the semi-finals going into their deciding match against Pakistan are very slim.

The victory was special for the West Indies as they broke a 15-match losing streak in T20Is by defeating Ireland in the T20 World Cup fixture. Ireland had several flashes of talent but fell short due to poor fielding, notably a missed catch under crunch situation, when just over four overs were remaining in the game.

Matthews was given an extra life when Arlene Kelly dropped a catch that appeared to be an easy dismissal for the West Indies skipper, who later scored the winning runs. Earlier in the game, after choosing to bat first and losing Amy Hunter (1 off 5) in the second over, Ireland managed to recover and set a target of 138 runs.

Gaby Lewis (38 off 34) and Orla Prendergast (61 off 47) combined for a partnership of 90 which set the tone straight for Ireland. They were, however, held back by the West Indies, who grabbed five wickets while giving away mere 10 runs in the final three overs, causing them to lose momentum. Shamilia Connell (3/24), Afy Fletcher (2/21), Karishma Ramharack (2/18), and Matthews (1/32) all contributed significantly with the ball and kept picking wickets at crucial stages in the game.

Skipper Hayley Matthews leads from front

West Indies made a strong start to their chase with a quick and fiery partnership of 28 runs between Matthews and Rashada Williams (17 off 3), but they were pushed back when Williams was run out by Hunter. When Shemaine Campbelle was out for a duck by Laura Delany, the game was closely balanced, but the West Indies had a strong base for their maiden World Cup victory for this year, thanks to a fourth wicket partnership of 74 runs between Matthews and Chinelle Henry (34 off 28).

Prior to their final encounter against India on Monday, Ireland demonstrated their tenacity in their penultimate game, when Henry was caught by Delany off Leah Paul's delivery. However, Ireland now faces elimination after going winless in their first three games. On Sunday, the West Indies take on Pakistan in their final league stage clash, knowing that a strong victory would put them in the running to advance to the semi-finals.

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