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.