Hayley Matthews' all-round show, Anisa Mohammed's nerve see West Indies stun England
Hayley Matthews © Getty Images
On a day that saw a litany of fielding errors from England, Deandra Dottin's sensational catch and Hayley Matthews' all-round contributions saw West Indies defeat the defending champions, England, by a narrow margin of seven runs at the University Oval in Dunedin on Wednesday (March 9).
While West Indies climb to second in the table, England face a couple of tough fixtures against South Africa and India next. Wicket-keeper Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation propped West Indies total after a gamechanging over from Sophie Ecclestone, before West Indies' bowlers dominated England completely in the chase.
Dottin and Matthews make the most of early reprieves
Lauren Winfield-Hill’s struggles continued as she dropped Dottin off the very first ball of the match. That didn’t deter Dottin though as she swung Anya Shrubsole over mid-wicket fence in the very next over.
Dottin continued to put the pressure on the bowlers as she pulled Katherine Brunt to the boundary before England’s fielding woes returned as Tammy Beaumont dropped a tough chance off Matthews at backward point.
Matthews seemed to continue from where she left off in the last match as she hit Brunt for a couple of exquisite boundaries in the seventh over, following a pull with a scorching square cut.
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Matthews play off the backfoot continued to be sublime as she took full toll whenever Brunt and Shrubsole dropped short.
While Dottin is generally the aggressor, it was Matthews who brought up the 50 for West Indies when she hit Shrubsole for a six and four over long on in the tenth over.
England, though, failed to take their chances as Kate Cross dropped a routine return catch in her first over. Matthews, though, was undeterred as she lofted a straight six over Cross’ head in the same over.
Better late than never for Ecclestone
England’s tactics were also questionable as they delayed Ecclestone’s introduction till the 17th over after choosing to go with an unchanged side.
Having bowled her most expensive spell in the previous match against Australia, Ecclestone was back to her frugal best as she conceded just two runs in her first two overs.
That pressure paid off as Matthews tried to force the pace and was the first wicket to fall after scoring 45.
Dottin followed her back to the pavilion for 31 in the same over as Danielle Wyatt’s excellent diving pick up and direct hit found her short after Kycia Knight tried to tap and run to get off the mark.
Things quickly turned for the worse as Ecclestone then removed Stafanie Taylor off the very first ball with a viciously-spinning delivery that Taylor could only edge to the hugely impressive Amy Jones as West Indies slumped from 81 for no loss to 81 for three in the space of one over.
England continued to choke the West Indies and Kycia Knight was the next to depart for a laboured six off 22 balls after stepping out and drilling a lofted shot straight to Wyatt at short cover off Ecclestone.
Nation and Campbelle to the rescue
The four back-to-back wickets saw the scoring rate dip as West Indies only managed two boundaries in 20 overs from 21-40. Chedean Nation and Campbelle, though, did a good rebuilding job as they put on 123 runs for the fifth wicket.
England’s fielding continued to be lackadaisical as both the batters were dropped by Shrubsole. The pair took West Indies to a competitive total, with Campbelle top-scoring with 66, before being dismissed off the last ball of the 49th over while trying to up the ante. Nation ended unbeaten on 49 as West Indies ended with 225-6 after batting first.
No stopping the Dottin and Matthews show
England made a cautious start but West Indies continued to remain ordinary in the field as Anisa Mohammed dropped a routine catch at slip when Beaumont was on 6. Winfield-Hill was the next to benefit from a let-off on 10 as Dottin could not hold on to a rasping cut at backward-point.
She made amends soon enough as she came up with a catch of the tournament contender by gobbling up a full-blooded cut from Winfield-Hill with her outstretched left hand as the England opener departed for 12.
England’s issues compounded when Matthews continued her strong all-round form by sending Knight back for five after she edged to keeper Campbelle.
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She then accounted for the in-form Natalie Sciver too, who failed to clear mid-on after scoring just two off nine balls. It was impossible to keep Matthews out of the action as she then snapped up Amy Jones at slip for 1 off the impressive Aaliyah Alleyne, who kept bowling a fourth stump line persistently.
Tammy Beaumont waged a lone battle for England but her vigil came to an end when Anisa made amends for her earlier dropped catch by trapping her in front of the wickets for 46.
England's finishers, Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley, found themselves in with more than 100 runs to get and took the aggressive route to put up a partnership of 60. Just as it looked like they were gaining a foothold in the chase, Taylor introduced herself in the attack and struck a crucial blow as Dunkley departed for 38 after failing to get a pull away.
Wyatt, too, fell soon after for 33 off 31 balls as Shamilia Connell dismissed her and Katherine Brunt in quick succession and ended an impressive day with figures of 3/38. Matthews finished with 2/40, taking the big wickets of Knight and Sciver.
When Brunt was dismissed, England's hopes seemed to be over, but Ecclestone and Cross came to their rescue, just like they had earlier in the day, putting on a 61-run partnership. With nine needed off three overs, Taylor tossed the ball to Anisa, who struck with the very first ball after managing to ricochet a powerfully hit straight drive from Ecclestone onto the stumps, as Cross was out of her ground. She then yorked Shrubsole, who charged down the ground, to give West Indies a famous win.
Brief Scores: West Indies 225/6 in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 66, Chedean Nation 49; Sophie Ecclestone 3/20) beat England 218 all out in 47.4 overs (Tammy Beaumont 46; Shamilia Connell 3/38, Anisa Mohammed 2/24) by seven runs POTM: Shemaine Campbelle