England win by 20 runs, and win the 5-match series
That’s 3-0 to England with two to play! For West Indies, at least they didn’t lose by 47 runs again. They were in the game for much of the day. It was a tale of opportunities let slip: the catches they dropped, the good bowling that was undone by bad, and the way that Dottin was slowed up through the middle of her batting innings, and got so little support. The pace of the chase, after the fast first three overs, was never there. Sending in Nation was never likely to help. In the same way, Shamilia Connell bowled beautifully off the top but her fourth over wasn’t used: she ended with 2 for 13 from three overs, while others went for plenty. Another tactical blot.
For England, it was a comprehensive performance. Nat Sciver made her best score in T20 Internationals, her 82 forming the bulk of their score. She got good support from Knight and later from Wilson. Katherine Brunt bowled cleverly to seal the game, Sciver was useful with the ball too, and the spin from Glenn and Ecclestone controlled much of the innings.
The fourth match is on Monday, we’ll be back with coverage then. Thanks for your company.
20th over: West Indies 134-5 (Taylor 14, Henry 12) In a nice final touch, Henry has dispensed with her helmet and is batting bareheaded against Sophie Ecclestone, and aims two of the biggest shots you’ll ever see, for the profit of one leg bye. Taylor tries to go over over and misses, then mistimes an attempted six down the ground and only lifts a single. Henry gets one more change, wiping a shot out to deep midwicket, and Taylor finishes the day with a sweep for four.
19th over: West Indies 127-5 (Taylor 9, Henry 11) Brunt bowling the second-last over, and there’s a six at last! Chinelle Henry gets a gift, a bit full toss on her hip, and gets under it to swing it over deep square leg. She tries again next ball and only received a big lbw appeal that is turned down. Another big swing takes a high top edge for two, then mistimes another heave for a single. That’s more like it with the swinging.
That leaves 28 required from the final over.
18th over: West Indies 117-5 (Taylor 9, Henry 2) They’re a frustrating team at the moment, West Indies. Dottin is gone, they need 42 from 18 balls, and yet neither Taylor nor Henry really winds up to attempt a big shot. They knock the ball around, score three singles off the bat, and run a bye. If that happens from miscues aiming for the third row of seats, fair enough. But the urgency isn’t there, nor between the wickets.
17th over: West Indies 113-5 (Taylor 6, Henry 1) Six runs from the over, and the wicket. That’s a defining effort from Brunt.
WICKET! Dottin c Wilson b Brunt 63 (West Indies 112-5)
That’s the game! Fine bowling from Brunt! She built the pressure that over, cramping Taylor for a dot ball and a single, foxing Dottin with a slower ball that didn’t concede a run. Dottin has her moment, playing her own version of the Natmeg, the draw shot between her legs, when Brunt bowls a really good tailing yorker. But Brunt has the final say, with a slower ball out the back of her land, landing perfectly on leg stump. Dottin in a slog-sweep position gets a lot of it, hit as hard as she can, but the ball is travelling so slowly when it hits the bat that she can’t get the power on the shot. It lands instead in the hands of Wilson on the rope. Dottin has laboured, but again it will be in vain.
16th over: West Indies 107-4 (Dottin 59, Taylor 6) A couple of boundaries back to back for Dottin, cutting Ecclestone crisply, then sweeping to beat short fine leg. But then a couple of mistimed shots that don’t beat the field, and an awkward single from an inside edge onto pad. Taylor drives a single to close, 10 runs from the over, but they still need more than that.
48 from 24 required.
15th over: West Indies 97-4 (Dottin 50, Taylor 5) Here comes Stafanie Taylor, and her second ball she drives Glenn gorgeously over cover for four. One of the team’s best ever players really should have been batting ahead of Nation, who has what is honestly a pretty dismal record from a substantial set of opportunities for this team. Dottin gets strike, flicks a single off her toes, and raises her fifty from 48 balls.
Her team needs 58 from 30.
WICKET! Nation lbw Glenn 3 (West Indies 91-4)
Overturned on DRS! The on-field umpire says not out when Glenn loops up a straight break on leg stump that Nation misses, and is hit on the ankle. Fair enough to have some doubt there, but the projection shows the ball just holding its line enough to hit leg stump flush.
14th over: West Indies 91-3 (Dottin 49, Nation 3) West Indies need 71 in 42 balls, and can only get 7 from this Shrubsole over. Dottin starts to get creative late, with a scoop shot and then a flick behind square, both for two runs, both saved by Glenn.
13th over: West Indies 84-3 (Dottin 44, Nation 1) Chedean Nation comes in ahead of Staf Taylor. Finds a run. Dottin can’t, once, twice. The last ball of the over she slams down the ground and Mady Villiers thinks she’s taken a catch down at long-on, but isn’t entirely certain. Umpire Redfern’s soft signal is out, but the third umpire decides that the ball has bounced between Villiers’ fingers while she tried to take the catch. Dottin is reprieved. They didn’t even take the run while the ball was in the air. This hasn’t been a tactically smart batting performance for the most part.
WICKET! Matthews lbw Glenn 21 (West Indies 83-3)
Needing 72 from the last eight overs, Glenn strikes with her first ball of this six. Full, straight, and Matthews is stepping across to aim for the leg side, misses this one, and is hit on the ankle in front of off stump. No review. The partnership falls.
12th over: West Indies 83-2 (Dottin 44, Matthews 21) Mady Villiers now bowling her off-breaks for a change. Matthews finds a boundary via a cut shot, beating Brunt into the fence. Hands over strike to Dottin, who tries to go large once more and is dropped by Sciver! Out at deep midwicket, runs around and slides into the catch attempt, looks to be leaning back as she slides on her knees, and can only fingertip it away.
11th over: West Indies 74-2 (Dottin 41, Matthews 15) A couple of runs chipped away over midwicket by Matthews, then Ecclestone does brilliantly out at deep backward square to jump and block a pull shot that was threatening to bounce over her and keep the score to one run. Dottin decides it’s time to go, that same leg-side whack, and she hits it hard and flat over the boundary rider for six! What a shot! Then edges through her own legs, off the keeper, and away for two more. Sciver, the bowler, has to laugh. She’s the proprietor of the Natmeg, after all.
10th over: West Indies 63-2 (Dottin 33, Matthews 12) Shrubsole only bowled one over to start the innings, and has her second now. A couple of singles to start with, then Dottin sees a ball she likes and slots it into the gap at deep midwicket, between two boundary riders! Such an exhilarating striker of the ball when she gets her front leg out of the way and cleans out the bowler. But Shrubsole comes back with a slower ball and one that beats the edge, and the over still only costs six. West Indies need 92 from the last 10 overs, that’s a tough ask.
9th over: West Indies 57-2 (Dottin 28, Matthews 11) Glenn starts again, and Matthews walks way across her stumps to try to access an area out to square leg. Three times in the first four balls, she tries it, but keeps hitting to the field. Cat and mouse here, as Glenn keeps bowling wider, and Matthews keeps walking further across, then stops doing it, meaning that Glenn gets called for a wide, twice in a row. Following that, Matthews walks across again and hits one cleanly for a brace to deep midwicket, then stays at home and uses the width on Glenn’s next ball to cut four through cover. Quite the contest!
8th over: West Indies 49-2 (Dottin 28, Matthews 5) Matthews a taller player than Dottin, is able to stand up tall to Sciver and drive a single down the ground. Dottin flicks behind square, but she’s not too quick on the first run and isn’t often in a position to take on the arm for a second. Matthews repeats her earlier shot. Throw in a wide, and they take six from the set, useful but they’ll need some more profitable overs.
7th over: West Indies 43-2 (Dottin 26, Matthews 2) Dual spin now, with Sarah Glenn’s leg-breaks to complement Ecclestone’s left-arm orthos. Dottin aims her biggest shot of the day, a huge smoke towards midwicket, but misses the ball entirely. She settles for a cut shot for one run, and Matthews takes a single. They need 112 from 78, it’s growing tougher.
6th over: West Indies 40-2 (Dottin 25, Matthews 0) It’s parry and thrust here. Ecclestone bowling, and Dottin can’t score or doesn’t really try to from five of the deliveries, while playing one cut shot to the boundary. It looks like she’s feeling the pressure, knowing that she has to score most of the runs for her team if they’re to get home. In two minds about what to do next, how much caution to show.
5th over: West Indies 36-2 (Dottin 21, Matthews 0) Some deep breaths to compose oneself, as Dottin plays out most of the Brunt over circumspectly. Hayley Matthews has come in at No.4 today.
WICKET! Campbelle c Shrubsole b Brunt 4
Short and sweet. Campbelle glances the first ball of Brunt’s over for four, then sees a length ball in her arc and tries a big drive down the ground, getting more toe of the bat than middle, and lifting it high to Shrubsole at mid-off. The two opening bowlers combine.
4th over: West Indies 31-1 (Dottin 20, Campbelle 1) Once Dottin loses the strike, an over is allowed to go by that costs two runs and takes a wicket.
WICKET! Kirby st Jones b Sciver 3 (West Indies 30-1)
That’s this team in a nutshell. Sciver comes on early for a bowl, with her innocuous mediums. Cramps Dottin for room first ball, and a single to midwicket results. Kirby hasn’t faced a ball for a long time, and has a partner playing red-hot, but still deadbats her first two balls and then misses one down the leg side. She sleepily takes her foot out of the crease while turning around, and Jones has waited for this and takes the bails off before Kirby’s bat can come down.
3rd over: West Indies 28-0 (Dottin 19, Kirby 3) Sophie Ecclestone, England’s left-arm spinner, loves bowling in the Powerplay. It’s a different challenge for a spinner with only two fielders allowed outside the circle. But it’s a different challenge against Dottin in full flow. Ecclestone bowls wide of off stump, looping the ball, and Dottin gets under it, up and over mid-off for four! Ecclestone comes straighter, Dottin backs away and smacks another loft back down the ground, over the bowler. Four more.
Ecclestone darts the ball in to find a dot, then Dottin misses an attempted glide, followed by a cut straight to the field. She squeezes a single off leg stump to end the over and keep the strike.
That’s 28 from 18 deliveries for West Indies. They’ll need to stay well ahead of the rate though, given the way their batting tends to fall away.
2nd over: West Indies 19-0 (Dottin 11, Kirby 3) Brunt to bowl the second over, and Dottin smacks her for four! There’s a start. Brunt drops short, and Dottin is so quickly back to put her full weight through the shot. Brunt bowls fuller, so Dottin clears her front leg and belts four more! Same spot, out to deep midwicket, different stroke. That’s what this game needs.
Brunt changes up and bowls wider outside off stump, and Dottin just pats a couple back. Waits for the straighter ball, and when it comes, swings viciously once more, but this time it goes behind square leg where Danni Wyatt is patrolling, who is able to slap down that ball on the bounce and keep it in play.
1st over: West Indies 10-0 (Dottin 2, Kirby 3) Anya Shrubsole, England’s opening swing bowler, is wearing a lot of layers in the cold, and will look to generate some heat. She starts with a Harmison ball! Ok, it didn’t go to second slip, but it did swing so wide that it misses the pitch altogether and is called a no-ball rather than a wide. Dottin clobbers the resulting free hit with a pull shot, but only gets a single because there’s a fine leg back. Then Kirby can’t lay bat on Shrubsole, who is hooping the ball wildly. Hits the pad twice, both times angling down leg side, but the second time the ball ricochets back past off stump and costs England four leg byes. Then Kirby has a huge swing, huge outside edge, high over where the slips might be in a different game, and bouncing safely down to deep third for two runs. Sarah Glenn puts in a brilliant save on the rope.
Here come Dottin to the middle. It’s all on her. Lee-Ann Kirby has recovered from being hit in the face while fielding, and is batting alongside.
West Indies must chase 155 to win
That’s that then – a similar target to the ones that West Indies failed to chase in the previous two matches of this series. They did seem more energetic in the field today, they were more vocal and were tactically active with their field placings and at times with their bowling. But the skill level was still a problem, with the catches that went down, and that is likely to once again be an issue with the batting. As ever, most of it relies on Dottin, Taylor, and Matthews. Let’s see what they can produce.
20th over: England 154-6 (Wilson 16, Glenn 1) Sarah Glenn faces one ball and drives a single, and Wilson spent the entire last over stuck down the non-striker’s end. Dottin finishes with 2 for 29 from an eventful three overs.
WICKET! Brunt b Dottin 4 (England 153-6)
Katherine Brunt comes in with the bat with three balls to face. The first of those, she plays a delicate reverse lap shot, over the keeper and away fine through deep third. The second, she plays an indelicate slog after backing away outside leg. Misses. Dottin is aiming at the base of middle once again.
WICKET! Sciver b Dottin 82 (England 149-5)
It’s Dottin to close out the day. To start the over, Sciver gets back for a second run after diverting another full toss to midwicket. Dottin gets the next one to bounce, too short, so Sciver gets it to bounce too, once before crossing the rope at deep mid. She’s on 82. Four balls left. A century is theoretically possible. But Sciver walks across for the scoop shot, Dottin fires in full at middle stump, and this time ball beats bat. That’s 82 from 61 deliveries. Quite the innings.
19th over: England 143-4 (Sciver 76, Wilson 16) Sciver gets going! Even Taylor can’t stop her by this stage of the innings. A top-edged sweep for two, then Sciver gets the next sweep better – down near the toe of the bat but still placed between the boundary riders for four. Taylor bowls full and wide outside off, so Sciver waits and slaps it down through long-off for four more. Then gets a ball on her pads, and launches it over long-on for six! Takes a single to keep strike. The over costs 17. Taylor 1 for 34 in her bowling day.
This is now Sciver’s highest score in the format, previous best of 68 not out.
18th over: England 126-4 (Sciver 59, Wilson 16) Shot from Sciver! Dottin the bowler, well outside off, a bit short, and a slower ball. Sciver walks across to play the scoop shot, but then sees the length of the ball and picks the slower pace on it. So instead of scooping, she waits on it, then plays a pull shot as the ball is passing her. Catches up to it, and smacks it through fine leg for four. That’s some skill. Dottin recovers with a couple of singles, then loses grip on the ball entirely and bowls a beamer over the head of Sciver. A low full toss from the free hit can only be dragged by Sciver for a single.
Then another dropped catch! So many today. Another low full toss, fast, and Wilson played the reverse lap shot, aiming to get it through deep third for four. Hit it nicely, but straight at Selman. With the ball flat and travelling, she can’t hold on.
17th over: England 116-4 (Sciver 54, Wilson 13) Taylor is still doing a job: 1 for 17 from her three overs when this one comes to a close. Another smart shot from Wilson, tucking wide of long-on for two more runs, but otherwise the over is dots and singles.
16th over: England 111-4 (Sciver 52, Wilson 10) Wilson gets going now, sweeping powerfully against Fletcher’s first ball to score four to deep square leg. They milk the rest of the over. Another double dropped in front of the boundary rider, with the batters haring back for two.
Half century! Nat Sciver 51 from 40 balls
15th over: England 103-4 (Sciver 51, Wilson 3) Another seven runs from the Grimmond over, including a restrained boundary just flicked into the gap between the boundary riders at deep midwicket. The team hundred comes up with Sciver’s fifty, her ninth in the format, her 22nd for England.
14th over: England 96-4 (Sciver 45, Wilson 2) Matthews continues, bowling in the cap much like another Matthews many years before. We’ve heard a lot about a certain tied Test featuring Dean Jones in the last few days. Singles, leg byes.
13th over: England 90-4 (Sciver 42, Wilson 0) Interesting action from Sheneta Grimmond, who bowls next, hopping and bobbing to the crease to bowl a version of off-spin, the delivery seeming to come from a hand with its palm held up to the sky. I’d love to see the ultra slow-mo close-up to see how that works. The England pair score couple of twos into the big space on the leg side, making the boundary riders run in. Fran Wilson’s only contribution is a leg bye.
WICKET! Jones b Matthews 4 (England 83-4)
12th over: England 83-4 (Sciver 36) Hayley Matthews with the ball now. She was Taylor’s batting partner when they won that T20 World Cup final in Kolkata in 2016. They’re bowling partners here today. Matthews also bowls finger spin. Not a good start with, as they run a few between the wickets before Sciver pulverises a short ball through square leg. But the last ball of the over, Matthews gets it right. Jones walks at her, but Matthews drags back her length a bit. It’s not there to hit, and Jones ends up trying to stab the ball off her thigh pad to leg. Misses it, and it goes on through the gate to the stumps.
11th over: England 73-3 (Sciver 29, Jones 1) That wicket is just as well for Fletcher, who dropped Knight earlier in the Taylor over. The simplest of catches, looped off the top edge to short third. But Taylor produces another edge that the keeper takes.
WICKET! Knight c Campbelle b Taylor 29 (England 72-3)
Wide outside off stump from Taylor, a lot of loop, and Knight plays a big drive with an angled bat. Top edge, and a fine take from Campbelle behind the stumps with no time to think.
10th over: England 67-2 (Sciver 25, Knight 28) Better line from Fletcher now that her digits are warmed up a bit. Lands on middle and off, with three boundary riders on the leg side. They can’t drag across, and deep cover is still there when Fletcher drags down. But the final tactical win goes to Knight, who plays a calm measured reverse sweep, splitting the fielders behind point for four. Throw in a couple of twos, and that over is worth 11. England on track for another big score here without having done anything outlandish.
9th over: England 56-2 (Sciver 23, Knight 19) Time for the captain to intervene. Stafanie Taylor’s off-breaks can be very effective. She puts a lot of loop on her first, making Sciver wait too long on the shot and meaning she only drags a single. Singles and a wide are all that follow, six from the over in total.
8th over: England 50-2 (Sciver 20, Knight 17) Afy Fletcher to start her day with spin, but she starts it badly – a loopy leg-break that lands well outside leg stump, and Knight easily sweeps four. Cold days tend to make leg-spin bowling difficult, when the fingers don’t work properly. Apparently it’s freezing today in England. Another couple of balls land on the line of leg stump. A brace for Knight, a couple of singles, and it’s another profitable over for England.
7th over: England 42-2 (Sciver 19, Knight 10) Deandra Dottin is on for a bowl. Interesting. A wonderful striker with the bat, but a useful seamer as well. And she seams it a mile! First ball, curls away a touch and then jags back, way past Knight’s push, and past off stump. Dottin is a shorter character than the specialist bowlers, very strongly built, and she’s putting a bit behind the ball today. A couple of singles, then Knight drags a slog in the air past midwicket for two. Uncontrolled. Slower ball driven to the deep cover, one run. But again a slip up late in the over, full and on middle stump, easy for Sciver to whip behind square leg for four.
There has been some good bowling in the last few overs, but each over has ended up being expensive.
6th over: England 33-2 (Sciver 14, Knight 6) Henry will close out the Powerplay. Sciver walks across to slap straight at point, then connects nicely with a straight drive but Henry plucks it in her follow-through. Third attempt, Sciver takes a single to square leg. Knight is blocked up by the off side field. Interesting field: two players behind square, plus an extra cover and a mid-off, with a deep cover sweeper. So, the tactic is to bowl outside off stump consistently and stop the scoring on that side. Two singles from the over.
5th over: England 31-2 (Sciver 13, Knight 5) Nearly another wicket for Connell! She angles in at the body, and Sciver is through the shot a bit early, perhaps just flinching a bit, and it takes a leading edge that hangs in the air but drops wide of the bowler in her follow-through. Sciver shows what she can do next ball: just a fraction short outside off, and that’s enough for her to carve four runs through cover. Following that is a near run-out, with Knight scrambling to make her ground at the striker’s end. A direct hit would have had her, but she gets in while the wicketkeeper takes the bails. She gets rewarded on strike though, a ball on leg stump that she can glance for four. Connell gets back on line to finish the over, beating Knight with the perfect line and length outside off stump.
4th over: England 22-2 (Sciver 8 Knight 1) Chinelle Henry, another tall quick for this West Indies team, starts her work well too. Goes straight through Knight with a ball that shapes away and then cuts back to beat the inside edge. Unfortunately for the bowler this all happened wide of the off stump, so Knight survives. Henry also fields sharply off her own bowling. But she slips up to finish the over, bowling a full toss that Sciver deflects away in front of square leg for four.
3rd over: England 14-2 (Sciver 1 Knight 1) The old firm reunites, then. Natalie Sciver, England’s biggest hitter, was the first replacement, Heather Knight the captain is the second. Connell closes out an over conceding only two singles.
WICKET! Wyatt c Grimmond b Connell 11 (England 13-2)
A second in the over for Connell! Again that wide line, Wyatt gets a good piece of it, slicing the fullish delivery out to deep point. But West Indies have planned for this, they have one of their two boundary riders permitted at this stage of the innings out for that shot. Running in, sliding on her knees, Grimmond takes a good catch. Both of England’s opening pocket-rockets have gone.
WICKET! Beaumont c Campbelle b Connell 1 (England 12-1)
Connell gets her reward! After a good first over she produces more of the same, a fuller ball swinging away outside off stump, and this time Beaumont’s swing gets a thick edge through to the keeper. Well held by Campbelle as it goes hard to her right.
2nd over: England 12-0 (Beaumont 1, Wyatt 11) Shakera Selman will be the other opening bowler for West Indies today. Loping run and she starts outside off stump, which is where Wyatt likes it. Carves in the air with an open blade behind point, and it looks a chance for a minute but dips before reaching Dottin. It also confounds her on the bounce and gets through her for four! Should have stopped that. Wyatt celebrates by slamming another aerial shot down through mid-off for four more. That’s her style, Wyatt: airborne through the off side without much concern for catchers. It has a failure rate, but when it comes off, it’s lucrative. She stabs a single off her hip with a cramped pull shot. Beaumont wants to join the party, charging down the pitch at Selman but missing. She’s lucky the keeper is standing back, so there’s no stumping.
Next ball, dropped! Selman nearly produced a remarkable dismissal. She bowls a good full ball, Wyatt sings hard through the drive but can’t get elevation. It comes back at the bowler hard and Selman gets a hand up above her head and parries it softly up in the air. Lee-Ann Kirby is at mid-off where the ball loops, and is easily in position to catch it, but she somehow manages to let it slip through her hands it hits her in the mouth. She’s in some trouble and is leaving the field to get some treatment, in pain. What a shemozzle all up.
1st over: England 2-0 (Beaumont 1, Wyatt 1) And we’re away. Shamilia Connell, the tall and strong opening bowler for West Indies, starts in the channel outside Tammy Beaumont’s off stump. Draws a flashy drive that doesn’t make contact, then a wider slap at a ball swinging away that misses as well. A good start from Connell, it takes Beaumont four deliveries to jam a single away to the leg side, then Wyatt finds cover for no score before dragging across the line for a quick run to mid-on. Nothing convincing with the bat in that opening over.
Especially important news for West Indies that Hayley Matthews hasn’t been hampered in the medium term by the back injury that bothered her the other night. She hasn’t made runs for them lately, but at her best she’s their best player. One has to keep hoping that she’ll come good.
England win the toss and will bat
It’s worked so far, so Heather Knight will make sure they bat again. Set the total, apply the same pressure. An unchanged team for England.
Two changes for West Indies: Chedean Nation comes in for Britney Cooper, and Aaliyah Alleyne is out for Sheneta Grimmond.
Hello all. It’s cricket time again. West Indies to the rescue for England’s summer, first with the men’s Test team and now with the women playing some Twenty20 matches. England have the chance today to win the series in straight sets, to mix our sporting metaphors. They’ve been very consistent in their two wins so far: bat first, run up a big total, and win by 47 runs. Twice in a row. With this being the third match of five, West Indies need to win today to stay in the series.
Easier said than done. West Indies women have been on the slide since becoming world champions in 20-over cricket back in 2016. Not much has gone right in the years that have followed. The good news in this series is that Deandra Dottin has been making runs after some lean years. The bad news is that out of 16 other innings played by her teammates in this series, one has got out of single figures. Hmm.
Heather Knight’s team has a much more even spread of contributors (which is to say, more than one) and they should get it done today. Should. But that’s why we play the games...