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England Women sweat on the way to third straight win

Middle-order collapse threatens to derail chase of West Indies' 108 for 4, but they pull through in the last ball for one-wicket win

25 March 2016 00:03

England Women sweat on the way to third straight win - Cricket News

After West Indies chose to bat, England kept them to 108 for 4.

For a second successive match, England Women managed to botch up what seemed a straightforward chase. Chasing 109 against West Indies Women in a Group B tie in Dharamsala on Thursday (March 24), England were cruising at 59 for no loss in the ninth over, but before anyone could make sense of what was happening, they were 106 for 9 and the equation boiled down to three off two balls.

Deandra Dottin, bowling that final over, lost her nerve and gave a wide and Rebecca Grundy scampered for single off the next ball. Finally, it was all up to Natalie Sciver (19 not out off 22 balls), who was kept off strike all the while, and she managed to sprint to the other end as West Indies failed to effect a run-out that was there for the taking. While West Indies players sunk to ground in despair, the batters collapsed into each other's arms, the one-wicket victory giving England a good chance of making it to the semifinal.

After West Indies chose to bat, England kept them to 108 for 4. But, unlike against India Women, the batters were confidence personified when they strolled out to the middle.

Charlotte Edwards was her usual dependable self, but it was Tammy Beaumont who stole the show. A delightful hook off Shamilia Connell was eclipsed by a thunderous blow over the advertisement hoarding for six off Deandra Dottin, and the smattering of people that had gathered hooted in approval.

Afy Fletcher finally had her lbw for 31 off 23 balls and Shaquana Quintyne followed it up with a successful lbw shout against Edwards (30), but England were still ahead of the eight-ball, at 63 for 2 in the ninth over.

But that became 69 for 3 when Fletcher picked up the big wicket of Sarah Taylor and it was all a question of whether England would let pressure get to them.

They did. Fletcher picked up her third wicket, while Stafanie Taylor snared two in her second over to leave England at 83 for 6 in the 15th over.

Incredibly, England contrived to lose two more and it was panic stations at 101 for 8, eight runs needed from seven balls. Anya Shrubsole picked off two runs in ball one and two of the final over, but fell on the third ball. She walked off bat pressed against her forehead, but fortunately for England, they managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and get the win.

West Indies showed plenty of positive intent at the start of their innings. Hayley Matthews crunched two fours through point, but was caught by Sciver off Katherine Brunt.

That brought Quintyne to the crease and she simply continued where Matthews left off, circumventing the fielders with ease and even chipping one over mid on. It was just as well because Stafanie was struggling to find rhythm and it was largely up to Matthews to keep the scorecard ticking. She did a reasonably good job, making a run-a-ball 29 before holing out to long on off Sciver.

With Stafanie looking unsteady and a new batter at the crease in Dottin, it was advantage England. The West Indies captain tried to grit it out, but in hindsight, this probably hurt the side the most as she ate up several balls in the process, having opened the batting.

The duo of Stafanie and Dottin managed to take the side past 100, before the captain fell for 35 off 47 balls. It was just reward for Shrubsole who had been the most economical of the lot, taking 1 for 11.