West Indies women won the 1st T20I by one run after defending a total of 115 against New Zealand at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
Aaliyah Alleyne hit 49 to power the West Indies to 72 for 4 before late hitting from Rashada Williams (15) and Chinelle Henry (10) lifted the home team to 115 all out.
New Zealand lost wickets regularly after getting 23 from their captain Sophie Devine, and collapsed to 96 for 9 with eight balls to go.
However, needing 20 off the last over, Hannah Rowe struck two fours and a six in the final six balls as the visitors fell agonizingly short.
Alleyne, who bowled the final over, was the hero earlier in the day with seven fours in a fluent 49 off 37 balls, after the Windies were asked to bat first.
She put on 66 for the second wicket with skipper Hayley Matthews (15) to give the West Indies women a positive start.
However, Amelia Kerr struck back taking 3 for 16 to slow the West Indies’ advance.
Skipper Devine (2/25) and opening bowler Fran Jonas (2/13) also did their part in limiting the West Indies to 115, as the home team was dismissed off the last ball of the innings.
Devine then held her team’s chase together with 23 off 18 balls, as Henry (3/26) chipped away wickets from the top order.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Karishma Ramharack provided great support in the middle overs, taking 1 for 15 in four frugal overs.
New Zealand was behind the eight-ball at 75 for 8 in the 15th over, until Rowe (27 not off 21 balls) and Isabelle Gaze (15) got them firing again.
However, Selman (1/10) dismissed Gaze with eight balls to go, and new batter Fran Jonas failed to score off the last two deliveries of the 19th over.
Needing 20 off the last over, Rowe hit the first ball from Alleyne for four before she and Jonas got singles off the next two balls.
A double for Rowe off the fourth ball of the over left New Zealand needing two sixes off the final two balls.
Rowe only managed a four off the penultimate ball and smacked a six off the last ball, but Alleyne had done enough to secure a narrow one-run win for the West Indies.
Henry was named Player of the Match for her 10 runs and figures of 3 for 26.
The second T20I is on Saturday at 1:30 pm in Antigua.
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