Rusty West Indies searching for a win against upbeat England
Before the start of the T20I series in England, West Indies had won only one match in their previous fifteen outings. Their losing streak from the T20 World Cup continued on Monday (September 21) in the first T20I at Derby.
“White-ball cricket, and T20 cricket specifically, is about scoring runs. If you watch the history of our cricket, our bowling department has always held its own, done well and been competitive,” Andre Coley, the West Indies women’s interim head coach, had said ahead of the series. The story turned out to be the same on Monday.
Given a target of 164, the West Indies managed to score only 116 by the end of 20 overs. Despite Deandra Dottin’s half-century, the biggest concern for them would be the fact that no other batter crossed double digits. In fact, the tally of extras was the second-highest in their team total.
The form of their skipper Stafanie Taylor would be a worry for the Windies. Since the T20 World Cup in 2018, Taylor has scored only one half-century in 19 outings. In the first match too, she struggled to get going and was eventually castled by leg-spinner Sarah Glenn. Taylor scoring runs is crucial for the West Indies to turn things around.
The other issue for them would be their dot ball percentage while batting. There were as many as 51 dot balls in the West Indies innings. Most of them were during the initial six overs where they should have capitalised. Dottin said during the post-match media interaction that it is one of those things that they would want to address in the next match.
As far as bowling is concerned, despite the good start for England, the women in maroon managed to pull things back, and it was one of the positives for them going into the series.
Meanwhile, they might want to take a look at their strategy, particularly, during the power play when Tammy Beaumont was batting outside the crease. The England openers made full use of the fielding restrictions, and Taylor and co. did not make any tactical adjustments to contain them. They might have to come up with something that surprises the English openers.
The hosts, on the other hand, had the best start they could have asked for their cricket summer. Beaumont, who was batting down the order during the World Cup, opened the batting and right away, she responded with a brilliant fifty. It is one of the biggest positives for them.
Heather Knight and Amy Jones looked in good touch, too. However, in hindsight, England would have wanted the duo to bat through, and take the team close to 180 after the start they had. Similarly, Natalie Sciver and Danielle Wyatt too would be itching to get amongst some runs in the next game.
In the bowling department, Katherine Brunt was at her best peppering some sharp short-pitched deliveries at Dottin. Though she did not pick up any wickets, the seamer gave away just eight runs in her four overs. England must be pleased to see her trouble the West Indies batters consistently. They would want their pace attack to continue the same.
England used only five bowlers on Monday and given the way their batting has performed they might add an extra seam bowling option for the next match in place of Mady Villiers.
Although England look like a more settled and confident side with the victory in the first game, West Indies would be keen to get a win under their belt at the earliest. With heavy rain expected on Wednesday, both the team would be hoping that they get ample game time to produce a result.
England: Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Katie George, Sarah Glenn, Heather Knight (c), Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt
West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry Ann Fraser, Natasha McClean, Shemaine Campbelle, Shabika Gajnabi, Chedean Nation, Britney Cooper, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell, Chinelle Henry, Kaysia Schultz, Deandra Dottin, Lee Ann Kirby, Shakera Selman