Source: Julian Thompson

Curious End to 5th International T20 – England v West Indies

  • +1

As heard on Radio ‘Five Live Sports Extra;’ and also seen on SKY Sports, England’s captain Heather Knight’s England narrowly beat the West Indies ‘WIndies’ to win the five-match series with their fifth consecutive win. Knight was ‘pleased to finish summer on a high’ and felt it was a ‘bizarre end to a bizarre summer.’ Inclement weather reduced the match to five-overs-per-side, played in a light drizzle.

Shamilia Connell (Photo: Julian Thompson)

WIndies’ Shamilia Connell picked up player-of-the-match – possibly the first time the trophy had gone to the losing side. Connell said she’d ‘come to do a job’ and thoroughly enjoyed playing during her seven weeks. Reflecting on her team’s performance, captain Stafanie Taylor said it was a ‘brilliant game.’ She’d never played that kind of ‘big shot’ cricket before. Taylor added that she calls vertical catches ‘blinders.’ Previously her shortest match had been seven overs.

Commentating on the night’s performance, Charlotte Edwards had said that England almost lost, calling for risky second runs that weren’t there. Fellow pundit Ebony Rainford-Brent added that she thought Shakera Selman was ‘not the right bowler’ to bowl the final over. Mark Butcher said that Selman seemed to ‘give up’ – adding that inexperienced players had ‘made a meal’ of England’s win.

England’s Sarah Glenn (pictured above) took the ‘player-of-the-series’ trophy.

  • Newbie Freya Davies (1-11) had a dream career debut as England’s best bowler, (as Anya Shrubsole looked-on from the balcony). Slogging Davies’ fourth ball for ‘six’ chalked-up Deandre Dottin’s 100th ‘six.’ Two balls later, Davies presented Hayley Matthews with a first ball ‘golden duck’ –caught easily in the deep by Mady Villiers.
  • Bowling England’s best over of the night, Katherine Brunt (1-14), was mis-hit skyward by Dottin (11) who was caught by Freya Davies. Pre-match practice had paid-off, both teams having previously dropped similar catches when playing under floodlights.
  • World’s top IT20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone skittled Chedean Nation for another duck – the last WIndies wicket to fall. Natasha McLean (14*) survived a stumping by Jones, upon review. McLean, thumped a final ‘six’ to close WIndies account on 41-3.
  • England’s wickets went tumbling unnecessarily, to poor calling – put down to inexperience. Shamilia Connell (3- 14) was WIndies most effective bowler taking the wickets of Heather Knight (4); Amy Jones (0); Katherine Brunt (2) – also bagging the £1000 bonus for player-of-the-match – see above.
  • Match ended ‘curiously’ during Shakera Selman’s (1-20) final fifth over when the scores were tied on 41. England were handed victory on a plate after a ‘no ball’ added the winning run to England’s score.

England won by three wickets. WIndies 41-3 in 5 overs; (Taylor 15*; McLean 14*; Dottin 11*; Davies 1-11; Brunt 1-14, Ecclestone 1-16) were beaten by England 42-7 in 4.3 overs (Beaumont 9, Glenn 8, Sciver 7; Connell 3-14; Selman 1-20)

Summary: England won the limited over match by 3 wickets and the series 5-0.

Unless already read, readers are recommended to read  ‘A look back at Shortest Season‘A look back at Shortest Season‘ by Bruce Perkins

* Looking forward, pundits said that England’s top order batting power is a weaker area. As Perkins says, players are expected to adapt according to the type of match being played. Practically a batter with a more powerful strike rate usually performs best for short format games. And yes, Danni Wyatt was sorely missed. As for future potential, I would agree that Georgia Adams and Sophie Luff must be given further consideration for England contracts.
* Where I might raise some doubt concerns over-optimism surrounding spinners performance ‘down-under.’ A slow straight-arm bowler like Charlotte Taylor might also warrant further consideration, given her astonishing performance in last week’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy final.