first_imgWindies opener Hayley Matthews has said getting to her maiden ODI ton was a surreal moment and an honour. She is only the fifth female player from the Caribbean to do so, and at home to boot.Hayley Mathews celebrates her maiden ODI ton at homeThe 20-year-old hit 15 fours in her innings of 117 from 146 balls, which took the Windies Ladies to 292-5, their second highest ODI total ever in the 3rd and final match of the series at the legendary Kensington Oval Ground, Barbados.Speaking after the match to Cricket West Indies (CWI) media, the Kensington home-girl said she rates the innings on the same level as her World T20 heroics.“Both are very important. They’re both very crucial innings, because the World Cup final is very important to me, seeing the team home. But doing this in front of the home crowd; being able to do it in front of so much friends and family, it was really important.“And it was a goal for me; it was an honour to come home and reach one of my goals,” she explained.The opener, who grew up playing her cricket at the venue — a venue where her father once applied his trade — said the occasion and the venue made the 100 even more memorable.“It’s definitely an honour for me. It was one of my goals. Kensington Oval is a ground with so much history, and so much wonderful things have happened here in cricket, and to do it in front of friends and family, I’m still trying to suck it in,” she declared.Veteran Deandra Dottin hit 59 from 44 balls, with four fours and three sixes. She also grabbed 4-36, as the South Africans failed to recover from a shaky start and were bowled out for 177 in the 43rd over.Matthews has said she is entirely pleased with the team’s progress following a good ODI series.“I mean, like I said before: when we came here to play against South Africa, our goal was to win all three games. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the first one and the rain got the second one, but to be able to come back here and level the series and to get the two points is good for us, and as a team and a unit we’re very happy with that,” the all-rounder said.The result means the hosts have drawn the three-match series; following a 40-run defeat in the first game last Sunday at the same venue, and the second game ending in a no-result from a wash-out due to rain. The victory has also earned the Caribbean side two points on the Championship table, taking them into fourth place with nine from nine matches, three behind table toppers New Zealand Women, and two behind both Australia Women and World champions England Women.Matthews has said their strides heading into the World T20 are a sign of the hard work they’ve been putting in over the past few months.“I think, for me, it was the focus of the team. We knew what we had to do; we’ve been working very hard the past couple months in Antigua, training a lot. It was just a matter of executing, and we did that well. The wicket was good. We thought batting in the night would have been a bit harder with the ball swing with the condition in Barbados, but we were able to go it, and bat on a good wicket,” the centurion explained.Concluding her interview, the Bajan said she didn’t bowl during the series because she was not required to do so, as the Windies team boasts a star-studded bowling line-up. She added that the upcoming T20 series which bowls on in a few days will be dress rehearsals for November’s first ever stand-alone tournament hosted by the Caribbean.“We have a lot of firepower in the team. I must say kudos to the bowlers, because we’ve been doing well all series, and they have kept South Africa to 220 all series. We are the defending champs, and we have a very strong T20 unit, so hopefully we can go out there and play some good cricket and win the series,” she declared. (Clifton Ross)last_img