Hayley Matthews
A public appearance by Hayley Matthews

The 24-year-old Barbadian opened the batting for MI, scoring 47 runs off 31 balls in the first game against Gujarat Giants and then scoring an undefeated 77 runs off 38 balls in the second game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to win the match.

Because of the strength of the Mumbai Indians’ batting lineup, Hayley Matthews has been able to get all out in the first over of both WPL games she has played in. The 24-year-old Barbados native opened the batting for MI, scoring 47 runs off 31 balls in the first game against Gujarat Giants. In the second game, she struck the game-winning unbroken 77 runs off 38 balls and took three wickets in an impressive nine-wicket triumph against Royal Challengers Bangalore. We have a roster full of all-stars. Matthews, who blasted 13 fours and a six in MI’s pursuit of 156, speculated that this had freed up the team’s top batting order.

Having played on slow tracks in South Africa during the T20 World Cup, Matthews noted that playing on better batting tracks at the DY Patil and Brabourne Stadium had surely helped her game a lot.

Recently, I’ve been focusing on improving my batting for the West Indies and have been racking up some massive scores in practice. All I’ve done is make an effort to bring that (shape) with me. It has also helped that the wickets here are far more favorable for batting than the ones we faced in South Africa. “It’s boosted my confidence, too,” she said.

Matthews thinks that a score of 175 to 180 runs is easily achievable on a batting belter at Brabourne Stadium.

To bat on, the wicket was excellent. In all likelihood, a score of 170 or above (and perhaps even 180) would be considered par. It’s important to have a strong hitting lineup, and I feel like both Nat (Sciver-Brunt) and I were able to contribute to a solid victory for our team.

She also had an outstanding performance with the ball, and she thinks her team’s greatest strength is its roster full of players who can do a little bit of everything.

Fortunately, they selected me as a utility player, so I know I can count on getting the ball occasionally. Although the Mumbai Indians already had a plethora of bowling options, I might not have been needed in the last game, but I was tasked with delivering the ball today. Matthews elaborated, calling the current roster “beautiful” because of this very quality.

Matthews believes that taking on greater responsibility for West Indies has helped her to improve as a player.

Becoming more responsible at the crease was probably the main factor. With the West Indies, I had to bulk up noticeably. That aids my overall T20 performance and has been useful here as well. Because of this, she is no longer as driven as she was when she first entered the international cricket scene.

“I maybe wasn’t getting the number of runs that I wanted due to possibly giving my head too fast but now I have been forcing responsibility and international cricket has allowed me to learn how to build my T20 innings,” Matthews added.

The battle is on for the uncapped members of RCB: – Ben Sawyer

Head coach Ben Swayer of the RCB put up a strong front, but he indirectly conceded that the team’s Indian players are up against it.

Even though RCB spent a fortune on international players like Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, and Ellyse Perry, their homegrown talent isn’t exactly inspiring.

Conversely, Swayer expects more from his international stars like Perry and Heather Knight.

That’s hardly the kind of start anyone on the team was hoping for. On the other hand, our uncapped players performed admirably. They put up serious resistance. They are now more experienced, but it was likely the fact that we lost all of our international players by the eighth over that proved decisive. Sawyer admitted that the team’s “with the ball” performance fell short of expectations because of poor follow-through.

Sawyer is concerned that his team’s batting needs improvement because so many of their players have reached the 20-run mark before being dismissed.

“When chasing 220 you have to take the chances but tonight we had four batters getting into the 20s but none of them converting it into the 40s or 50s,” Sawyer remarked.

Swayer is demanding more from RCB’s foreign stars after seeing how teams have benefited from players like Grace Harris, Meg Lanning, and Maggie Matthews.

The other teams’ abroad players have stepped up and scored most of their runs, so we know our own team needs the same thing from its international players.

This is something that all six of our international players are aware of. He also said that while “no one is really satisfied with what we are doing,” everyone is determined to turn things around.

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