England inflicted another heavy defeat on the West Indies in Derby, with a 47 run win – Sarah Glenn top-scoring with 26 off 19 balls, and then picking up 2-24 with the ball, to take home the Player of the Match champagne.
Having won the toss, Stafanie Taylor chose to put England in to bat and then chase – an “interesting” decision, after what happened last time out! Was it confidence? Or hubris? She’d say the former, of course, but the gods had other ideas!
To be fair, England didn’t get things entirely their own way with the bat – they lost 8 wickets (again!) and looked on course to make only around 130, until Glenn and Katherine Brunt pumped up the volume to give them a big fillip at the end.
Every team says they “bat long” – it’s a cliché well on the way to losing all meaning! But England definitely batted long today, with numbers 7, 8 and 9 combining for 53 off 37 balls at a Strike Rate of 143, that saw England finish on 151 – 20 runs ahead of where they’d looked like being.
Dottin was always going to be the key to the West Indies chase, and while she was Dott-in they stayed in with a shout.
As the worms show, they were slightly off the pace in the powerplay, but they built a platform that saw them come within touching-distance of England at the half-way mark, with only 1 wicket down, and both Dottin and Taylor set and going at a run a ball. They were still going to need a couple of big overs from somewhere, but that’s something we know both of those players are more than capable of.
However, it wasn’t to be – as soon as Dott-in became Dott-out, the strike rate fell away almost instantly, and a slow march of death ensued, as the game slumped towards its then inevitable conclusion.
Heather Knight finally gave Mady Villiers the chance to send down a couple of overs, and she didn’t disappoint, taking 2-10.
Meanwhile Sophie Ecclestone returned 2-19, though such are the standards that she sets herself these days, that she didn’t look at all happy with it, interestingly, which is probably the mark of a truly great player in the making – never quite satisfied and constantly striving to be better. (If you’re a young left-arm orthodox spinner, with ambitions to play for England in the next 10 years… have you considered hockey or netball? Because you’re not going to displace Ecclestone from this team in a hurry!)
So, on to The Big One on Saturday – the Free To Air showcase, live on the BBC, which the England players are obviously pretty hyped for, with the Beeb having done their best to turn it into an “Event” with a capital “E”.
But a good game of cricket really needs both sides to turn up. We know this West Indies side can turn up – we saw it on a hot night in front of a raucous crowd in St Lucia at the World Cup in 2018.
Now we just need them to do it behind closed doors on a cold day in Derby in 2020.
No? Me neither! But we live in hope!