When West Indies Women challenged Australia in the first of three T20Is, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the wicket was void of any shortcomings. Batters, seamers and spinners alike would have been happy with the conditions. And what better than an Ellyse Perry new-ball spell of pace and outswing to showcase the curator’s handy work?
It was Schutt who got the ball rolling, however, bowling Britney Cooper in the first over of the innings for a duck. Captain Stafanie Taylor would walk to the crease at no.3, but after an ill-advised call for a run from the Jamaican cost Kyshona Knight her wicket, the West Indies were 1 for 2 after the first over.
After Schutt transgressed the front-line, Reniece Boyce dispatched the free-hit for a maximum. The seamer responded immediately, as Boyce got herself into a tangle trying to play on the leg side, instead of giving Schutt the opportunity of wicket number two when the ball took a leading edge. An opportunity which she accepted, as she completed the catch herself.
Stacy Ann King would be the second victim of Australia’s brilliant fielding. The veteran found herself wandering down the track following an lbw appeal from Schutt, but Burns with a direct-hit, coming in from the point, found the all-rounder short of her ground, leaving the West Indies at 18/4.
Natasha McLean came and got herself a start, but immediately after being handed life on the long-on boundary, she was undone by what was surely the delivery of the game, as Perry knocked the Jamaican over with an inswinging yorker.
It was all left up to Stafanie Taylor and she did indeed play a captain’s knock, batting through the innings. Though she was frustrated at times, the most important thing was that she was there to punish the bad deliveries, helping her team to a respectable 106. Taylor finished on 44 from 51.
In the absence of Shakera Selman, Chinelle Henry has been given new-ball responsibilities and the 24-year-old, who has given a good account of herself so far, again showed why there is the reason to be excited. The Jamaican, like Perry, was getting the ball to leave the right-handers, but going around the wicket, she took it back into the left-handed Mooney, taking the opener’s leg stump for a walk. Henry would go on to pick up career-best figures of 2/15. Still, despite the loss of four wickets, the ever-steady Meg Lanning, with a run-a-ball 54, was able to guide her team to victory with seven deliveries to spare.
The second T20I bowls off later this evening at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at 7 pm local time.”