Women’s cricket has finally made its’ return, and it was England who emerged victorious against a rusty West Indies by 47 runs. The win came on the back of a superb 49-ball 62 by English opener, Tammy Beaumont.
Despite heroics by Stafanie Taylor and Shakera Selman with the ball, and Deandra Dottin with the bat, the 163 target set by the English was a mountain too high for the girls from the Caribbean.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 21, 2020
England experimented with Tammy Beaumont in the middle-order, but that didn’t work out quite so well for them, with the right-hander scoring just 15 runs at this year’s T20 World Cup. Parity was restored, and Tammy regained her opening spot with an innings consisting of flair, power and technique. At a segment when West Indian captain, Taylor, claimed back-to-back scalps of Wyatt and Sciver, Tammy was involved in a match-winning 50-run partnership with the captain, Heather Knight.
Knight’s 25 run in the middle overs was crucial in providing a strong foundation for the English and was further given impetus by Amy Jones’ quickfire 24. Despite a strong finish by the West Indies with the ball, they couldn’t restrict the English from crossing the 160-run mark.
West Indies batting saw a lackluster start and even lost the services of opener Hayley Matthews in the power-play overs. Natalie Sciver scalped the first wicket for the hosts, and it seemed that the fast-bowler has added some speed to her bowling post-lockdown, making her even more lethal. The spinning duo of Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone never let the West Indies power-hitters get going, restricting them at under run-a-ball, along with three wickets for the pair.
Deandra Dottin was the only ray of hope for the West Indies, who will be pleased about her getting some runs under her belt after a long injury layoff. The effects of being away from the game for so long and her injury was apparent in her batting, but she kept striking the ball better as the winnings went on. Constantly losing partners at the other end, Dottin’s 69 didn’t prove to be enough, as she was clean bowled by Glenn’s leg-breaks in an effort to boost the run-rate.
Despite the convincing defeat, there are a few positives to be taken for the girls from the Caribbean. A long 6-month layoff can leave the best players rusty at the start, as we have seen across various sports. Even the ongoing IPL is a testament to how crucial match practice is for the players to continually hone their skills. The English and Australian players who have already resumed international cricket have been performing better than the Indian international stars in the initial days, primarily because of match practice.
The English Women looked like a very well-oiled machine, but Dottin’s return to form with the bat is a huge plus for the West Indies. Their captain and arguably, best player, Stafanie Taylor, looked very sharp with the ball, and Connell was very effective in the death overs. The English would be mighty pleased especially with their bowling, with all the five bowlers chipping in. Katherine Brunt was exceptional, conceding just 8 runs in her quota of 4 overs, and along with Sciver and the spin duo, England has one of the best bowling lineups in world cricket.
The second T20I between the two sides will take place on Wednesday, 23rd September, at the Incora County Ground.