CRICKET-WT20-LEAD Matthews powers Windies into semi-finals.

 
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Hayley Matthews burst to life in a special Player-of-the-Match performance as West Indies romped into the semi-finals of the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup with a crushing 83-run victory over Sri Lanka here Friday night.

Choosing to bat first at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium, the reigning champions stormed to 187 for five off their 20 overs - their highest-ever score in T20 Internationals and the third highest in a T20 World Cup.

The 20-year-old Matthews was at the centre of the Windies domination, stroking a classy 62 off 36 balls while opening partner Deandra Dottin slammed 49 from 35 deliveries and captain Stafanie Taylor, an attractive 41 from 25 balls.

In reply, Sri Lanka crumbled under the weight of the imposing run chase and were dismissed for 104 in the 18th over, with captain Chamari Athapaththu top-scoring with 44 from 35 deliveries.

Matthews, with her first bowl of the tournament, claimed three for 16 as Sri Lanka collapsed from 88 for four in the 13th over, losing their last six wickets for just 16 runs.

Opener Hayley Matthews goes on the attack during her top-score of 62 against Sri Lanka on Friday night.

The victory ensured the Windies remained unbeaten in three outings and also propelled them top of Group A on six points. England who had earlier beaten South Africa by seven wickets, also secured the other semi-final spot in the group ahead of Sunday's clash with the hosts.

Having barely scraped past 100 in both their previous matches, West Indies turned on the style in front a crowd of nearly 7 000, as they tuned up nicely for the all-important semi-finals next week.

Matthews, with scores of six and eight in the tournament, found her touch in an innings that contained eight fours and two sixes. She was the catalyst of an exciting 94-run opening stand off 58 balls with Dottin who lashed eight fours before barely missing out on a half-century.

The right-handed Matthews reached her fourth T20I half-century...

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