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Windies women wreck England

HAYDN GILL, [email protected]

Windies women wreck England

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MAKE that four out of four for the West Indies girls.

The defending ICC World Twenty20 champions maintained their unbeaten streak to top Group A by completing an exciting four-wicket victory over England at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia last night.

Cheered on by a crowd of more than 7 000, the Caribbean side chased down a target of 116 for the loss of six wickets with three balls to spare and win the top-of-the table clash between the two unbeaten teams.

West Indies, however, had to fight all the way after England fast bowler Anya Shrubsole pegged them back by claiming the important scalps of Hayley Matthews and captain Stefanie Taylor in the second over.

Those setbacks left the 2016 champions in some worry at three for two but level-headed batting from Deandra Dottin and Shemaine Campbelle steered them on course in a third wicket partnership of 68.

When Dottin top-edged a sweep and gave a catch to deep square-leg after scoring 46 off 42 balls that included four sixes and a four, the match was still in the balance with 45 required from the last 35 balls.

Campbell, who was contended to be the supporting partner while Dottin clouted the ball over the ropes a few times, took control of the situation to ensure that West Indies ended the group stage with their unbeaten record intact.

Campbell, who made 45 off 42 balls, changed gears in a critical 18th over that produced 12 runs at a time when the equation was 26 from three overs.

Significantly too, England’s fielding deteriorated in the closing stages when they missed three chances of varying difficulty.

In contrast, the quality of West Indies’ fielding was of a high standard against the world’s no. 2 side in the shortest form of the game.

From the first over, when Chinelle Henry jumped to take an overhead catch at mid-off, to the last when Dottin hauled in a low diving catch at backward point, West Indies were outstanding in spite of a few blemishes. The exceptional fielding was also typified by a direct throw from Britney Cooper at extra-cover, claiming a run-out at bowler’s end.

Dottin also grabbed two wickets to push her tally in the competition to a tournament-high nine and was the clear choice for the Player of the Match award.

“My bowling is giving me the most pleasure [at the moment], but I enjoy the batting as well,” the Barbadian all-rounder said.

“I am sticking to the basics, line and length. After losing quick wickets, we had to bat long for the team and stay positive. We knocked it around and were smart about it.”

Dottin’s fellow Barbadian Shakera Kellman put down another quality spell with the new ball and finished with two for 15 from her four overs.

England were reduced to 50 for six, but they rallied, thanks to a seventh- wicket partnership of 58 between Sophia Dunkley and Anya Shrubsole that made a match out of it.

In the end, West Indies, however, overcame the early wobble to set up a date against Australia in the semi-finals at the Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday.

West Indies captain Taylor applauded the effort of her team, particularly in the field, while acknowledging the crowd for their support during the St Lucia leg of the tournament.

“At this point it’s crucial (fielding]. When you look at the standard from the other night, you expect that. [Campbelle] She came and played her cameo, she was disappointed not to get us over the line, but she played a crucial part,” she said.

“The crowd was fantastic.  It was electric. I want to tell St Lucia a big thank you for coming out and supporting women’s cricket.” (HG)

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