All-round Matthews leads Royals to WCPL title as Warriors fall short
Barbados Royals finished the 2023 Massy Women’s Premier League (WCPL) season as champions they wrapped up an eight-run final win against the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
After topping the group stage with two wins over the Warriors and one win and one loss over previous winners Trinbago Knight Riders, the Royals claimed the second ever WCPL title at Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad.
After losing the toss and being put into bat for the first time, the Royals posted 169-7 with captain Matthews finding a big score at the right time before being slowed down in the final few overs keeping the Warriors in hope of a result.
In response, competition top scorer Sophie Devine could only manage a start before some tight bowling restricted the run rate required, leaving the Warriors short.
Gaby Lewis got the Royals off to a firing start before falling side the Powerplay with a score of 37-1 after six overs.
Matthews prevailed through the middle overs putting on the first century partnership of the competition with Rashada Williams. The Warriors clawed back the Royals, restricting them to 32-6 from the final five overs.
After early struggles for wickets, Shabnim Ismail showed her quality with 4-30, picking up the wickets of all the Royals top four batters.
Guyana Amazon Warriors, in similar fashion to the Royals, had an important middle over partnership after making the most of the Powerplay, with Suzie Bates and Shemaine Campbelle putting on 60.
The Royals’ bowlers did enough with the ball to restrict run rate enough to deny the Warriors despite some late hope given by Natasha McLean with a 17-ball 28, including taking 16 runs from the 17th over.
Matthews was at the forefront once again in key moments with McLean run-out off Matthews’ bowling at the non-strikers end with some misfortune in her dismissal combined with some brilliant reactions from the Barbados captain.
Royals bowlers were economically as they have been throughout the competition with overseas star Amanda-Jade Wellington in particular starring with 4-23, including 3-2 in the penultimate over when the Warriors required 23 from 12 balls.
Campbelle’s brilliant knock was left in vain as Matthews was able to defend 21 off the final over despite Ismail’s cameo giving the Royals a late scare. (CPL)