Added responsibility triggers Matthews' record run

Handed the West Indies captaincy last year, Hayley Matthews has hit a scarcely believable run of form at T20 level

Hayley heroics! Matthews breaks records in unreal chase

Hayley Matthews is arguably the most in-form T20 player in the world right now.

The West Indies captain claimed a remarkable seventh consecutive player of the match award on Monday night for her record-shattering 64-ball 132 against Australia, continuing the 25-year-old’s golden run of form.

Earlier the same day, Matthews had picked up three wickets with her off-spin, including a ripping delivery that bowled Australia No.3 Tahlia McGrath.

Those efforts came after she was denied a century a day earlier when she was left unbeaten on 99 in the first T20I.

"Probably not," Matthews said when asked if she had played a better innings after the series-levelling win.

"I think today was quite incredible.

"It's just finished so I can't quite find the words yet. But I don't reckon any days of cricket have quite beaten that yet."

In her last seven T20Is since March, a run that also includes a three-game series against Ireland, and T20 World Cup games against Pakistan and Ireland, Matthews has scored 452 runs at 90.4 and striking at 138.22.

With the ball she has taken 15 wickets at 10.6 while maintaining an economy rate of 6.11.

Between those performances, Matthews was also crowned player of the tournament at the inaugural Women’s Premier League in March, and starred with bat and ball as she led Barbados Royals to the Caribbean Premier League title last month.

Matthews’ potential has been obvious since she made her international debut aged 16 in 2014.

Her breakout innings came just two years later when she struck 66 against Australia at Eden Gardens to lead West Indies to their first T20 World Cup title, and her first T20I century came against Ireland in 2019.

'Today was quite incredible': Matthews on epic knock

But until now, Matthews had not been able to master this level consistency across her dual disciplines at the highest level.

She believes being handed the West Indies captaincy in June 2022 has played a significant role in her transformation, as has her regular presence in the world’s T20 leagues.

"Honestly, the leadership of the team has definitely helped me to take responsibility of my game," she said.

"That along with just learning and understanding my game a lot more from playing so much franchise and T20 cricket around the world.

"The two of those put together over the last 12 months have really helped not only with me scoring runs but scoring them consistently as well."

Australia v West Indies | Second T20I

Matthews hailed the influence of former Windies captain Stafanie Taylor, who she shared a 174-run partnership with on Monday night.

Taylor led the West Indies from 2015 until June last year and notably, was in the middle with Matthews when they sealed their historic T20 World Cup title against Australia.

"I speak about as a leader trying to lead by example, and I think it's something that I grew up watching Stafanie do in my younger days," Matthews said.

"Now that I've taken over the role I've really tried to emulate that and take responsibility and set a really good example for the young girls and even the ones that have been playing for a while but may not have as much experience."

While Australia were on the wrong end of Matthews’ form on Monday, Melbourne Renegades would have been watching keenly.

The Renegades picked up the Windies star in the first round of the inaugural WBBL draft, ensuring she will remain in red after playing for the club in WBBL|08.

CommBank T20s v West Indies 2023

First T20: Australia won by eight wickets

Second T20: West Indies won by seven wickets

Third T20: October 5, Allan Border Field, 7.05pm AEDT

CommBank ODIs v West Indies 2023

First ODI: October 8, Allan Border Field, 10.35am AEDT

Second ODI: October 12, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT

First ODI: October 14, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20Is only), Jess Jonassen, Alana King (ODIs only), Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

West Indies squad: Hayley Matthews (c), Shemaine Campbelle (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, Ashmini Munisar, Karishma Ramharack, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams