- Although Beth Langston was apparently fit and available, England chose not to change a winning team, meaning they went in with only one “strike” bowler, and Nat Sciver again opening the bowling. Although Sciver did get the early wicket of Hayley Matthews – a fantastic catch by Lauren Winfield – England just didn’t have any penetration, and it wasn’t until the 24th over that the next wicket fell, as Shaquana Quintyne went to an even better catch by Danni Wyatt.
- It has to be said that England didn’t let the West Indies “get away” either – they kept them pegged-back to around 4/ over, and at the 40-over mark it could have gone either way for the hosts from 162-4; but in the end with wickets in hand, they knew they could start to push, and push they did – scoring at over 6/ over in the last 10, to finish on 223, leaving England facing the highest run-chase ever for victory in a women’s ODI in the Caribbean*.
* Thanks to @_hypocaust on Twitter for the tip!
- England’s reply began in fantastic fashion – this was arguably Tammy Beaumont’s best innings in an England shirt – 57 runs in a pressure-cooker situation (both literally and metaphorically) away from home, against a top, top team – she played positively, striking the ball with power and timing, and together with Lauren Winfield (51) drove England into a match-winning position.
- At 90-odd for no wicket, we were waiting for the West Indies to mentally disintegrate, as they had in the 3rd ODI last week – Deandra Dottin bowled a ridiculous wide bouncer – a sure sign of frustration about to boil-over…
- But… but…
- West Indies are a “confidence” team – when they are down, they are very, very down; but when they are up, they can be very, very up, very, very quickly, and that is just what started to happen. England mentally disintegrated and the West Indies ran them through with a broadsword – Sciver 3; Wyatt 0; Elwiss 9; Jones 0; Brunt 1; Gunn 0; and Alex Hartley 0 Not Out at the end – only Heather Knight (36) and Laura Marsh (13) made it into double-figures after the openers.
Overall, this certainly feels like the worst performance of the Robinson era – worse than the loss to South Africa, where the Proteas chased down 262; worse than the World T20 semi-final defeat, where they collapsed, but not quite like this.
On the other hand, the West Indies are a smashing team on their day – Stafanie Taylor is a “Big Game” player, as anyone who saw her in the Super League will testify, and she was fantastic today – top-scoring with 85 and taking a brilliant caught & bowled to dismiss Knight… all despite clearly playing through an injury.
England can still go on to win this series on Wednesday – it is a new day and a new game of cricket – and one thing is for sure – Mark Robinson will have them up for it!