As heard on Radio ‘Five Live Sports Extra;’ and also seen on SKY Sports, Heather Knight’s victorious England team were prescribed a final night’s practice at catching balls falling from a floodlit night’s sky. Until the match toss is decided, either captain might decide to bat first. In the meantime, there’s only one night left during which to practice before the fifth and final match takes place.
SKY TV Pundits were astonished by their late-night’s entertainment, provided by WIndies tail-ender Aaiyah Alleyne who launched two vertical ‘skyers’ – certain catches during daytime, but certain to be dropped catches when facing dazzling floodlights to illuminate the late-September night sky. Both of England’s best catchers- Amy Jones or Natalie Sciver discovered the same problem – dazzling floodlights.
After the match, TV pundits interviewed WIndies captain Stafanie Taylor who was ‘at a loss’ with the result, needing time for ‘serious reflection’ before the fifth and final match.
Personally, I foresee a problem either if both captains summon their teams to practice catching on the Derby ground around the same time (Tuesday evening); or no one asks ground staff to turn their floodlights on-and-off before they go home.
- Highlight of England’s innings was Amy Jones’ (55) half-century struck from just 30 balls – that included two ‘sixes’. Jones had been lucky to survive Lee-Ann Kirby’s dropped catch – having posted 2 runs on the board. Jones was awarded the player-of-the-match trophy. Partnered by Heather Knight (42), their match-winning performance banked 112 runs from England’s last ten overs. Eventually Jones fell to Dottin bowling her team’s final ‘death’ over. WIndies were set 167 to win.
- Returner Sophia Dunkley (0) ‘chopped back a golden duck’ to Hayley Matthews – described by ‘Sports Extra’ as a ‘brilliant catch.’ On a personal note, I recall Dunkley fell to a similar fate when last touring the WIndies a few years ago. When ex-WIndies player-turned-commentator (Ian Bishop) interviewed her, I found it amusing that Dunkley made corrections-on-camera to just about everything Bishop said as he had been given the wrong notes – another classic case of: ‘Houston, we have a problem?’
- Disaster struck WIndies innings when opener Deandre Dottin (4) was bowled by Katherine Brunt’s second ball. Fellow opener Lee-Ann Kirby (4) was bowled by the final ball of Natalie Sciver’s first over. After six overs ‘powerplay’, WIndies were 44-3 – a nose ahead of England. Thereafter, only Chedean Nation (30) offered any serious resistance. Most remaining batters made double figures before Aaiyah Alleyne (15) performed her ‘skyer’ entertainment against the backdrop of the floodlit night sky.
England 166-6 in 20 overs (Jones 55, Knight 42, Beaumont 27, Brunt 25*; Alleyne 2-25) beat WIndies 122-9 in 20 overs; by 44 runs (Nation 30, Alleyne 15, Taylor 13; Campbelle 11; Glenn 2-15, Brunt 2-21, Ecclestone 1-15, Sciver 1-16)
Summary: Another England win having taken series 4-0 with one remaining match to play on 30th September at 6pm.