Katherine Brunt, Amy Jones shine as England go 4-0 up against West Indies
Katherine Brunt’s allround performance and a splendid fifty from Amy Jones took England to yet another comprehensive victory in the fourth T20I against West Indies at the County Ground in Derby on Monday (September 28). Jones, who walked into bat at 45 for 3 in the eighth over, batted through the remainder of the innings – first with her captain Heather Knight and then with Brunt – and took England to 166 for 6. The tragic story of West Indies’ batting continued as they fell short by 44 runs.
Batting first for the fourth consecutive time in this series, England did not get off to a great start. Aaliyah Alleyne made the most of the seam movement early on by dismissing Danielle Wyatt, who edged a good-length delivery that held its line, to the ‘keeper.
Alleyne removed Natalie Sciver in her next over as the England allrounder nicked a wide delivery to Shemaine Campbelle, leaving England in trouble at 22 for 2 by the end of the fourth over.
Heather Knight was in the middle of a crisis again, trying to build a partnership with Tammy Beaumont. The duo added 23 runs in the next four overs. Beaumont, in particular, pounced on anything short and wide. She made a 26-ball 27 before Karishma Ramharack dismissed her.
Ramharack, who was returning to the team after the almost a year, could not have asked for a better start. She struck Beaumont on the pads off her first delivery and continued to keep it tight with Stafanie Taylor at the other end.
Jones, who joined Knight in the middle, got an early reprieve as Lee-Ann Kirby dropped her at short-midwicket. After ten overs, England were struggling at 54 for 3.
Knight took it upon herself to get things going for the hosts. She smashed Shabika Gajnabi for three boundaries in an over including a massive six behind square-leg. Jones followed her skipper and hit Ramharack for a reverse-sweep four and a six down the ground.
In the next over, she repeated the feat, and all of a sudden, England were back in the game. Off the 21 balls they faced since the halfway mark, England had managed to score 53 runs.
Just when things were starting to look good for them, Connell removed Knight, who made a crucial 30-ball 42. Sophia Dunkley fell shortly to Hayley Mathews as Brunt joined Jones. The duo made sure that the run-rate did not drop down by scoring boundaries at will.
The on-field tactics by the visitors were out of place at times. Especially the field-setting they had for Brunt and Jones in the death overs and the line and length they bowled did not go well together. Jones’ brilliant fifty and Brunt’s quickfire 25 off just 17 balls took England to 162 for 6.
After smacking the West Indies bowlers, Brunt did not take too much time to make an impact with the ball. She bowled Deandra Dottin in the first over as the West Indies opener tried to pull a short-of-length delivery that skidded on to the stumps.
Despite an off day with the bat, Sciver came back with the ball to dismiss Kirby in the third over. Campbelle followed her back to the pavilion as England successfully overturned an LBW decision off Sophie Ecclestone. The visitors’ woes with the bat continued as they were stuttering at 38 for 3.
Taylor and allrounder Matthews tried to forge a partnership while keeping the required run-rate within reach. They kept the scoreboard ticking with boundaries at regular intervals.
Soon, Knight brought Sarah Glenn, the leg-spinner, into the attack, and she dismissed both Taylor and Matthews in consecutive overs. While Taylor was bowled for a 16-ball 13, Matthews’ made a forgettable 20-ball 11.
It was all downhill for West Indies from thereon. Chedean Nation’s cameo with the bat took them past 100 as she added 39 runs from 32 balls with Alleyne. Both of them got run out, and West Indies lower-order scrambled their way to 122 for 9 by the end of 20 overs.
Brief Scores: England 162/6 in 20 overs (Amy Jones 55, Heather Knight 42, Aaliyah Alleyne 2-25) beat West Indies 122/9 in 20 overs (Chedean Nation 30, Katherine Brunt 2-21) by 44 runs. PoTM: Amy Jones.