England doubled-down on their supremacy over the West Indies at home with another big win in Derby, thanks to a half-century from Amy Jones. England haven’t lost to the Windies at home now since they got Dottined at Arundel in 2012, and that winning streak looks unlikely to be broken this year unless Dottin can pull an ace out of the pack again on Wednesday.
Whilst Dottin has been ploughing a lonely furrow for the West Indies with the bat, scoring 42% of their runs thus far, England have shared things around. Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver, and now Amy Jones have all made one significant score, whilst Heather Knight has been the most consistent. It is Knight who leads England’s run-scorers (just!) with 19%, but Beaumont and Jones are only a whisker behind on 18%, whilst Sciver has 17%.
The only batters not to have made a significant contribution are Danni Wyatt (7%) and Fran Wilson (4%) and it was Wilson who missed out on selection yesterday to make room for Sophia Dunkley, pulling on an England shirt for the first time in 18 months.
Batting in the late middle-order is one of the toughest roles mentally for a young player in Twenty20 cricket – you either come in with your side in horrible trouble, or with only a handful of balls remaining; so yesterday’s opportunity for Dunkley – coming in at 6, with 6 overs left and with England having already established a good platform of 111 runs – was probably as good as it gets. But is there a sport crueller than this? You get one chance as a batter, and if you thump your first (legal) delivery straight back to the bowler… that’s it – Game Over! Dunks will get another go on Wednesday you’d imagine, so hopefully she can make that count and England will take her to New Zealand in February, which is looking like the next cricket they’ll play.
It is tough for Dunkley, but it has been even tougher for Freya Davies, Katie George and Kate Cross, none of whom have played at all. Will this change on Wednesday? Davies might get a game… maybe… because she has a clear role going forwards as Katherine Brunt’s replacement; but as for the other two, it seems unlikely. They’d be sentimental selections, and Heather Knight is just not a sentimental person on the cricket field – she wants to win – that’s her job, and England’s… and to be fair, they’re doing it.
Have watched a little of the games. Both teams are rusty but England starting to get some rhythm.
Sent from my iPhone Christine P Brierley OAM MA(Comm) JP(Qual)
I don’t know Lisa Keightley personally, but has she brought the Australian ‘win and win big at all costs’ mentality? A single change to the line-up was fewer than expected, and even with the game all but dead the final two overs were given to Ecclestone and Brunt, instead of perhaps giving Villiers another go and having a look at Dunkley as a bowler. There may be another opportunity to make a few more changes on Wednesday, or the weather might intervene and mean this series has already ended.
It’s a strange old game. There were points in England’s innings when I was thinking “we’ve already lost this” but I hadn’t bet on Windies pressing the self-destruct button. Likewise, in the first few overs of the West Indies reply I was thinking they were getting runs a little too quickly for my liking, but then the wheels suddenly fell off again.
It was Knight who sparked the first turnaround. Playing four unbelievable classy shots in a row, she scored 16 runs in 4 balls. Then Jones started to smoke the ball from the other end with 11 in 3 balls, and the score catapulted from 61/3 after 11 overs to 110/4 after 14. Suddenly the 160 plus score was on again.
When batting, West Indies were not far off DLS par score up to about the 8th or 9th over. But then Glenn resumed her brilliance and dismissed Taylor; then Matthews in her next over, and it was all but over after that point. This was an interesting innings for fans of statistical anomalies – a rare example of no “caught” dismissals. It showed that England bowled fairly straight and ground-fielded well – there were 4 bowled, 2 lbw and 3 run-out. It also showed that England’s catching wasn’t great either. But England like you say Syd have been very professional and solid throughout the series.
Do West Indies have good game-plans or not? It sure looks like it at times. England really struggled early with the wide bowling of Alleyne and co., and it also picked up 2 wickets. West indies have done a better job at attacking Brunt, Shrubsole and Ecclestone early these last 2 games. But I find it hard to believe that the same mind that planned those tactics would also put no cover on the off-side outside the circle, or fail to put pressure on new players at the crease, or just generally allow these “wheels falling off” moments to keep occurring.
I still believe that West Indies best chance of a win is for rain to force a shortened game, and the part actually played is the part they perform well in. Wednesday might be their best chance, or instead we may be stuck at 4-0, because the forecast does not look good.