It rained all day, and still a match was played and completed – the first-ever women’s 5-over sprint.
There were team changes. The important pre-match news was that Danni Wyatt left the bubble for personal reasons. It broke a sequence dating back to 2017. We wish her well. Fran Wilson returned in her place. Freya Davies replaced Anya Shrubsole and Heather Knight gave her the new ball which she used with verve and accuracy. She had Matthews caught by Mady Villiers.
Katherine Brunt and Sophie Ecclestone shared the remaining four.
Brunt loves pressure situations like these and claimed Deandra Dottin’s wicket. Ecclestone kept aiming for the pad on or around leg stump. She promptly yorked Chedean Nation. She remained hard to get away till Natasha McLean thumped her last delivery for a huge six.
Fran Wilson fielded magnificently again. One strong swing to leg bounced high as she chased to her right. She leapt and somehow caught it cleanly to save three runs.
The West Indies team were up for this game. They hit about them merrily, but would 41-3 prove enough?
Shamilia Connell opened with a wide wide, but after that bowled excellently. Her three wickets gained her the PotM award. England’s top batters never got on top of the bowling, but their running was fast and sound till the later stages. Wickets fell at regular intervals, helped by an outstanding flying catch to her left by Stefanie Taylor to dismiss Knight. It was similar to Wilson’s famous effort at Chelmsford last year. But it was probably a few degrees colder here at Derby. 10⁰!
The sequence went like this:
5-2 after 1
Selman bowled a no ball, then Beaumont struck the free hit for four, then another; then a second wide; finally Beaumont lofted into the offside to be caught. Such is 5-over cricket.
18-3 off 2 overs
Sciver was run out for 7
Brunt fell to the brilliant catch by Taylor
27-5 off 3 overs
With all the senior batters back in the hutch, it left two youngsters, Dunkley and Glenn to show what they were made of.
35-5 off 4
Few onlookers could understand why Dottin wasn’t invited to bowl the crucial last over. Instead the choice fell on Selman who had still not got over bowling two no balls earlier. Her second over was an adventure novel condensed into a single paragraph:
1. a 2 run fast
2. Glenn run out on second run
3. Wilson run out on second run 39-7
4. 3 from 3 please! A single
5. Then drama: Selman commits another no ball – 2 from 2
6. The next delivery flies high and wide; another no ball. Oh dear, oh dear.
So England win almost by theft.
A final reminder of the strange times we are living through – Heather Knight holds the trophy aloft alone …
West Indies 42-3
England win by 3 wickets
Player of the Match: Shamilia Connell (3-14)
Vitality Player of the Series: Sarah Glenn
England win the series 5-0
England: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver, Mady Villiers and Fran Wilson
West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Shabika Gajnabi, Hayley Matthews, Shemaine Campbelle, Chedean Nation, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Natasha McLean, Cherry-Ann Fraser Chinelle Henry and Shakera Selman