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White Ferns beat West Indies by five wickets in third match of Twenty20 series

At Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua: West Indies 93-9 (H Matthews 30; F Jonas 3-16, S Bates 2-5, E Carson 2-14) lost to New Zealand 94-5 in 18.4 overs (M Green 49 not out; Matthews 4-12) by five wickets.

The White Ferns survived another nervy batting display to grab a 2-1 Twenty20 series lead over the West Indies in Antigua on Monday morning (NZ time).

Needing just 94 for victory batting second, New Zealand were thankful for Maddy Green’s unbeaten 49 from just 45 deliveries at No.5 guiding them home with five wickets and eight balls to spare.

Maddy Green’s unbeaten 49 helped the White Ferns win by five wickets. (FILE PHOTO)

Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Maddy Green’s unbeaten 49 helped the White Ferns win by five wickets. (FILE PHOTO)

Home team captain Hayley Matthews took 4-12 off her four overs but lacked the support required to stop NZ going ahead in the five-game series.

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New Zealand ensured the hosts were limited to 93-9 batting first in the third game of the series, but made a horror start to their run chase, slumping to 20-4 in the sixth over.

Opener Sophie Devine fell to a shocking lbw decision while Georgia Plimmer was the victim of a sensational catch by Chinelle Henry.

Earlier, New Zealand’s spinners tied the West Indies in knots to seemingly set the foundation for a simple victory.

The White Ferns’ slow bowlers took eight wickets, led by young left-arm spinner Fran Jonas, with 3-16 off her four overs.

New Zealand bowled 15 overs of spin, with veteran Suzie Bates chipping in with 2-5 off three overs. When she dismissed Kyshona Knight, it was her first international wicket since September 2020.

She suffered a serious shoulder injury in that series against Australia and has since bowled off-spin instead of medium-pace.

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The White Ferns got home with a ball to spare in their second Twenty20 versus the West Indies.

Bates also took four catches but didn’t feature with the bat as Matthews rocked them before Green’s successful rescue mission.

The big moment

Before her exploits with the ball, Matthews posed a major danger to NZ with the bat.

She reached 30 from just 28 balls opening and had survived a chance when edging Hayley Jensen to the right of wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze, but Jonas shortly after induced a false shot from the star allrounder when brought back for her second over.

Best with the bat

Green played herself in, safe in the knowledge that even with NZ struggling at four down, they weren’t chasing a huge total.

She took few risks and then rapidly accelerated when her side needed 34 runs from the last five overs, striking five of her six boundaries from that stage on.

White Ferns spinner Fran Jonas took three wickets in another excellent bowling display. (FILE PHOTO)

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

White Ferns spinner Fran Jonas took three wickets in another excellent bowling display. (FILE PHOTO)

Best with the ball

Jonas continues to flourish on the slow surface in Antigua.

Entrusted with opening the bowling, she maintained a full length and grabbed her wickets through canny flight.

The 18-year-old now has five wickets at an average of 9.60 in the three T20 games, giving up just four runs per over also.

The big picture

The White Ferns get their first chance to seal a series win – after triumphing 2-1 in the ODIs – on Thursday morning (NZ time) as they seek to fine-tune their game with the next T20 World Cup the major focus.

Their spinners have excelled but the top-order batting has yet to find a way to be productive on the tricky slow wickets at the same venue.

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