Heather Knight delighted with the clean sweep as ‘bizarre summer’ comes to an end

Heather Knight © Getty Images

England completed a 5-0 whitewash over the West Indies in the five-match T20I series in Derby after winning a thrilling five-over contest on Wednesday (September 30). Skipper Heather Knight expressed her delight in completing the clean sweep even as she called the last match as a ‘bizarre end’ to a bizarre summer.

“It was about winning today and we are delighted to do that, win 5-0 and end on a high,” Knight said. “It was a bit scrappy but that’s the nature of a five-over game. It was a bizarre end to a bizarre summer wasn’t it?”

England had a fairly smooth run in the series with West Indies struggling to continuously challenge the hosts during the first four matches of the series. But with the rain reducing the last T20I to a five-over dash it seemed like the visitors finally had a chance to get a consolation win before heading back home. Chasing a tricky 42-run target, England were stretched for the first time in the series and scrapped through in the last over.

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England head coach Lisa Keightley said the close finish in the truncated match gave them an opportunity to see how they will perform under pressure, something which was lacking in the series until the final match. “This was a fantastic opportunity to see how the players went under a bit more of that pressure,” Keightley said. “In a five-over game you are going to be under pressure – every ball you bowl, every ball you face.”

Leg-spinning allrounder Sarah Glenn was named the player of the series for her performance with both the bat and the ball. Glenn played a crucial knocking scoring 26 off 19 balls in the second T20I to take England from a spot of bothering to a competitive score of 151 for 8 and took 2 for 24 during the chase to help England win the match by 47 runs. She finished the series as the highest wicket-taker with seven wickets to her name at an average of 12 and an economy rate of 5.60.

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The head coach had special words of appreciation for Glenn’s efforts during the series and said she is going to improve her batting even more with time. “Sarah has been fantastic over the last 12 months. She has really changed the game for us in the T20 format,” she added.

“We haven’t seen the best of Sarah Glenn. Batting-wise she is one of our cleanest strikers, so the more time we can get her in the middle moving forward, the better.”

Heather Knight also confirmed that six of the England players will be flying to Australia on Saturday (October 3) to participate in the sixth season of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Katherine Brunt and Natalie Sciver have already been signed up with Melbourne Stars ahead of the season. Knight will join Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones and Sarah Glenn on the trip Down Under even as the franchises are yet to officially announce their signings.