Source: Julian Thompson

England put on a show to celebrate Women’s Cricket return to BBC

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International T20 England v West Indies (Derby, 26 September)

As seen live on BBC2-HD, SKY and heard on Radio ‘Five Live Sports Extra’: outside broadcast of women’s cricket returned to BBCTV screens, after 23 years’ absence.

Before the match began, West Indies’ Shakera Selman told broadcasters that athletes had a ‘big role to play to change peoples’ attitudes,’ through the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign.

England’s captain Heather Knight said her ‘girls were really excited to put on a show’ – despite the fact it was ‘pretty cold.’ No surprise to see pace bowlers wearing long-sleeved vests.

Peppered by ‘dot’ balls from WIndies pace duo Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell, England’s openers hit out. Drama struck as soon as the twelfth ball – when commentators described a hard-hit ball, that smacked Lee-Ann Kirby’s face. Kirby dropped the catch, deflected off Danni Wyatt’s bat. Both Wyatt and fellow opener Tammy Beaumont were caught out making risky shots, the next over.

Natalie Sciver and Heather Knight as the new pair, lifted England’s ‘powerplay’ score to 33-2 after six overs – still their slowest start from all three matches. Sciver later agreed that she’d ‘picked a great time to score her career best’ (82) – jokingly, she’d been waiting especially for the BBC to mark the occasion. According to so-called ‘wagon-wheel’ analysis, Sciver had scored all but two shots on the leg-side.

As before, England decided to hit out during the last five overs, with wickets to spare. Adding fifty-one runs, commentators felt this was ‘devastating’ from the WIndies perspective. Deandre Dottin’s final spell skittled both Sciver and Brunt (Brunt having struck Dottin for ‘four.’) Set WIndies 155 to win, commentators thought this total was a ‘massive ask’ (at 7.75 runs-per-over).

During the interval, BBC TV pundits prophesised that the game was for ‘WIndies to lose’, if Stafanie Taylor chose to bat too far down the order. Having recovered from her earlier drama, Lee-Ann Kirby opened WIndies batting with Dottin:- Kirby promoted above Hayley Matthews who’d previously posted two below-par scores.

After six overs, WIndies were 40-2 (at 6.67 runs-per-over) Deandre Dottin adding 25 runs to her pre-match total of 2487 – to reach 2500 runs in International T20 (500 behind Taylor.) At 74-2, newbie Mady Villiers had Dottin (43*) dropped by Natalie Sciver. Villiers claimed a catch that was disallowed upon review. The game reached its climax once Dottin passed her ‘fifty’ at 97-4 with five overs remaining.

Once Dottin (63) was well-caught by Fran Wilson, attention turned to Stafanie Taylor, who finished ‘not out’ on 14 – having batted at No.6. Finally, some good entertainment was provided by Chinelle Henry who launched Katherine Brunt for ‘six.’ For an encore Henry removed her protective helmet before goading Sophie Ecclestone as the world’s top IT20 bowler. Concluding, former England star Jenny Gunn said this was a ‘great game to watch on TV’ as England took the series.

England 154-6 (Sciver 82, Knight 29, Wilson 16*; Connell 2-13; Dottin 2-29) beat WIndies 134-5 by 20 runs (Dottin 63, Matthews 21, Taylor 14*, Henry 12*; Glenn 2-18; Brunt 2-29; Sciver 1-23)

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