MATCH REPORT: England v West Indies

West Indies won the toss and put an unchanged England team in to bat, on a drizzly morning in Bristol.

In gloomy conditions, with the floodlights on and the ball swinging like a 1930s music hall, England openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont made a tentative start, with Winfield surviving three shouts (two for LBW and one for caught behind) in Deandra Dottin’s opening over.

The first boundaries didn’t come up until the sixth over - Tammy Beamont clubbing Qianna Joseph over midwicket for one 4, and then drilling her through the covers for another. England got into their stride a bit more thereafter, though they had West Indian wicket keeper Merissa Aguilleira to thank for some sloppy work behind the stumps adding 17 runs in wides during the powerplay.

Winfield - the one England batsman who hasn’t really done anything this tournament - holed-out off to Joseph for 11 off 24 balls, trying to play a big shot that just wasn’t big enough and found Hayley Matthews on the boundary.

Dottin then nabbed Sarah Taylor for a golden duck. The England keeper was playing for the in-swing Dottin had been orchestrating all morning, but instead got one that moved away a smidgen and took an edge to slip - the catch well-held by Matthews again.

Tammy Beaumont, having survived an attempt to ramp-sweep off-spinner Stafanie Taylor, then tried to do the same thing to the other spinner Afy Fletcher. The result was the same in both cases - the ball popped up in front of her - Aguilleira was unable to get around to it the first time, but made no mistake on the second time of asking - sending Beaumont back the pavilion for 42.

This brought the dangerous Nat Sciver to the crease; but the West Indies were soon celebrating as she became England’s second duck of the day - bowled second ball by Fletcher.

Lesson not learned about the ramp-sweep, Fran Wilson was also dismissed in a very similar fashion to Beaumont, though on this occasion it took a DRS review to ascertain that she’d hit it with the toe of her bat, after the on-field umpire gave her the benefit of the doubt.

England went 10 overs without a boundary, as Heather Knight dug-in, dealing mainly in singles as she worked her way towards a 13th ODI 50; but at the other end, Katherine Brunt’s patience couldn’t hold - coming down the wicket to Anisa Mohamed, she was stumped for 14.

At 40 overs, England found themselves on 153-6 - not exactly well-placed, with all the big-hitters back in the hutch and Heather Knight needing to anchor the remainder of the innings. It didn’t help therefore when Knight took a swing at Hayley Matthews and was bowled for 67 off 88 balls by a ball that admittedly turned a lot.

But some big hitting at the death from Jenny Gunn and a quick-fire 31 off 19 balls from Laura Marsh took England to a par 220-7 off their 50 overs.

There was a late worry for the West Indies however, as Hayley Matthews (after two outstanding saves in the deep) went over whilst bowling the final over with a problem with her knee - after a visit from the physio she opted to continue, but then went down again as she bowled the final ball.

Nevertheless Matthews still came out to open the batting for the West Indies, alongside Kycia Knight. They made a quiet start, although the introduction of Laura Marsh saw Matthews take the off-spinner for a huge 6 into the stands behind long on.

Kycia Knight was run out for 17, going for a run that was optimistic even if she hadn’t hesitated slightly as Fran Wilson gathered the ball at backward point and threw it in for Sarah Taylor to remove the bails with the Barbadian some yards short.

Stafanie Taylor was given out LBW to Laura Marsh for a 12-ball duck - choosing not to review, although replays subsequently showed that she would have been reprieved had she done so.

With Chedean Nation joining Matthews in the middle, the West Indies meandered, scoring just 27 runs in 11 overs as Jenny Gunn and the three spinners bowled tightly with pace off the ball.

Alex Hartley finally made the breakthrough, trapping Matthews LBW as she looked to sweep, with Deandra Dottin falling shortly afterwards to Heather Knight in a very similar fashion.

Having made 23 off 57 balls, Nation tried to smash Nat Sciver’s first ball into stands, but could only find the diving hands of Tammy Beaumont, making good ground to take the catch at deep backward square. Sciver then doubled her luck with the scalp of Merissa Aguilleira, LBW for 8, later in the same over; and got a third two overs later, as Afy Fletcher was perhaps unluckily given out LBW for 3. Having failed with the bat for once, Sciver’s final bowling return was 3-3… or if you are Australian 3-3… in 4 overs.

With the required run rate pushing past 8-an-over, the West Indies needed to do more than nurdle it around; but England left them little choice. Alex Hartley and Laura Marsh bowled-out their overs for 25 and 26 runs respectively, taking 1 wicket apiece; as the West Indies - finalists in 2013 - slumped to 128-9 and their 5th defeat of a tournament they will want to forget for for the rest of their lives.

Meanwhile England march on into the knockout stages, topping the group table having gone undefeated since the opening day. They will play South Africa here at Bristol in the first semi-final on Tuesday; whilst Australia will face India on Thursday in Derby for the other place in the final at Lords next Sunday.

Comments

  1. It was a professional performance by England who have developed the happy habit of being able to battle out a fighting total from seemingly poor situations. The innings from Beaumont and Knight were good today, I was also impressed by Marsh's effort near the end - it makes you wonder why she doesn't bat higher up. The only other thing I'd like to see as you mentioned, would be Winfield making a bigger innings although she has at least one more chance yet.

    The bowlers did the job well enough too, although England did get a stroke of luck or two today with Umpiring decisions. I would have liked to see us bowl out the West Indies but they were in no mood to seriously go about chasing the runs near the end. England's fielding and catching were pretty good overall today.

    Moving on to Tuesday, England know they are capable of getting one over on the South Africans but I have a feeling all won't exactly go to plan. I hope we can see either a new track with a bit more grass and less turn, or maybe they can at least try and spruce up the same one if we have to use that again. It's a bit of a slow turner which seem to be cropping up more and more these days. Whatever happens, let's hope England play well and can at least avoid the media mauling that sometimes comes with defeat, the girls deserve better than that after all they've done in this comp.

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