The West Indies produced their best performance of the tour, but it still wasn’t enough as England won the 3rd T20 by 20 runs to seal the series with 2 games to play.
It was the epitome of a “professional” performance from England – even Player of the Match Nat Sciver didn’t do anything spectacular for her 82 off 61 balls – she played the shots when they were they to be played, and otherwise she just ran hard. Tellingly, Deandra Dottin’s 63 contained exactly the same boundary counts as Sciver’s 82 – nine 4s and one 6 – so the difference between them was 19 “run” runs in Sciv’s favour – i.e. pretty-much all the margin of victory!
It was penultimate over of England’s innings was so costly for the West Indies – Stafanie Taylor, whose other 3 overs had gone at exactly her career Economy Rate of 5.6, gave up 17 runs to Nat Sciver.
Had that over gone for (say) 6, it could have all been a very different story – chasing 143 in that alternative reality, the West Indies might have had the self belief to smash those last 3 overs for 27 – win the game and get themselves back in the series.
But again it was the professionalism of England that told – they bowled tightly; and although when they didn’t the West Indies did have the power to punish them – Chinelle Henry walloping a Katherine Brunt full toss square for 6 towards the end – these gifts were few and far enough between to ensure that England’s worst over conceded just 11.
So with the series won… what now? Surely England have to give Freya Davies and Sophia Dunkley a chance? They are the future, and they need to be playing cricket, not running drinks. Personally, I’d rest Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver to bring them in, rather than “dropping” anyone else, because they are the like for likes, so you’d keep the balance of the team.
There is not much point in bringing Dunkley in and then her batting at 8 or 9, or Davies and having her only bowl a couple of the middle overs – they need to play “properly” which means a couple of the bigger names stepping aside, for just a couple of matches, in the interests of the team going forwards.
This series is in the bag now, so let’s start thinking about all the series to come – next year… the year after that… and the year after that.