Australia vs West Indies 2023-24 – Matthews frustrated by controversial decisions but laments batting


West Indies captain Hayley Matthews was left frustrated after her side was on the wrong end of two tight TV umpire decisions in their eight-wicket loss to Australia, although she did not use it as an excuse for the result conceding that her team had been thoroughly outclassed in the ODI series.

West Indies slumped from 38 for 2 to 39 for 4 during their first innings of the third ODI at Junction Oval in Melbourne after two debatable decisions from TV umpire Claire Polosak went against them in the space of three balls.

Stafanie Taylor was given out caught and bowled by Annabel Sutherland despite replays suggesting the ball had brushed the ground before wedging in Sutherland’s fingers. Shemaine Campbelle was then given out lbw to Alana King on the field by standing umpire Eloise Sheridan and reviewed the decision. Polosak upheld the on-field decision after deeming the ball had touched Campbelle’s pad before getting an inside edge that produced a visible deflection back onto the pad.

West Indies were eventually bowled out for just 103 with Australia chasing the target only two down in 15.3 overs. Speaking after the match, Matthews did not place any blame on the TV official and said her team had to accept the decisions even though they did not agree with them. But she did confirm she would raise the decisions with the match officials in the post-match captains’ meeting.

“I think they were really close decisions,” Matthews said. “I know a lot of the time when you’re not too sure, the benefit of the doubt is given to the batter. But the umpire had a decision to make. I don’t think we were 100% sure or happy with the decisions but at the same time, we’ve got to respect the decision that the umpire has made and go with it.”

Matthews was left to lament her team’s batting performance across the one-day series after pushing Australia close in the T20I series.

West Indies were dismissed for just 83 and 103 in their two ODI losses and were 107 for 8 after 25.3 overs in the second game before rain ended the match. Aaliyah Alleyne was the only West Indies batter to make a score of 30 or more in the series and they only made five scores of 20 or more, with Alleyne and Matthews contributing two each while Rashada Williams top-scored with 25 in the third ODI although she was dropped at slip on 8.

“I think for us we’ve definitely got to find a way for more of our batters to chip in,” Matthews said. “It’s quite disappointing for a lot of us, especially throughout that ODI series obviously not being able to get totals on the board. I think the batters are really trying to have a look at themselves and finding ways to score.

“But at the same time, we know we’re playing against the best team in the world and we knew coming down here was going to be challenging. But I think for us, there’s losing and then there’s probably losing with the performances that we lost with, and I think on reflection we know we can do better and should be doing a bit better still.”

A number of the young players will now head on a tour to Pakistan with West Indies A which Matthews said would be an excellent opportunity to further develop their games.

But she made a rare and frank admission that the teenagers in her squad, like Zaida James and Djenaba Joseph, have a much tougher task making the step up to international level in this era because of the overall quality of the opposition as opposed to when she started her international career against Australia as a 16-year-old.

“I think I was a bit more fortunate,” Matthews said. “Women’s cricket right now is not what women’s cricket was I think eight or nine years ago. And I think that’s just the truth of it. I was pretty fortunate to come into cricket in a time where it was still growing and get the opportunity to play around the world and franchise cricket and kind of grow with the game.

“Whereas I think they’ve now stepped into women’s cricket in a place where it’s very difficult and probably the skill of the game is a lot higher as well. So I think that it’s going to be a tough time for them early on against really good teams. But at the same time, we’ve got to keep encouraging them and keep wanting them to get better and keep giving them the opportunity to do so as well.”

Matthews now turns her attention to the WBBL where she will play a huge role for Melbourne Renegades. She confirmed that her injured quad was fine after missing the first ODI and was ready to play a full WBBL campaign.

“It was just a grade one tear,” Matthews said. “But since that third T20 I’ve been in a pretty pain free zone and managing it pretty well. Hence the reason for me missing the first game but at the same time, I wouldn’t have come back unless I felt pretty fit to do so.”

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