Opening batter Matthews made 66 not out and enabled the West Indies to chase down an Irish total of 137 for nine.
It was a tense finish, with Matthews clinching the win when she lofted a drive to the cover boundary off Irish captain Laura Delany.
West Indies win a final-over thriller in Cape Town 🙌📝: https://t.co/CkGBbBuYmg #WIvIRE | #T20WorldCup |… https://t.co/XmLJTofuWJ
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1676664838000
“We needed someone to bat through the innings,” said Matthews at the after-match presentation. “There was a lot of pressure. The Irish girls bowled really well.”
The win ended a sequence of 15 successive T20 international defeats by the West Indies.
Irish all-rounder Orla Prendergast was mainly responsible for pushing West Indies to the penultimate ball of the match.
Prendergast struck six fours and a six in an innings of 61 off 47 balls, then bowled a tidy spell of medium-pacers, conceding only 23 runs in four overs.
Prendergast shared a second-wicket partnership of 90 with Gaby Lewis, who made 38.
It was Ireland’s highest total in a T20 World Cup despite the innings falling away after the dismissals of Prendergast and Lewis.
Off-spinner Karishma Ramharack was again the most impressive West Indian bowler, taking two for 18 in her four overs.
Ireland captain Laura Delany said fielding errors had been costly.
“We just have to get better in the field if we want to compete with the best teams in the world,” she said.
West Indies face Pakistan in Paarl in their final group match on Sunday while Ireland, who are eliminated, conclude with India in Gqeberha on Monday.