Saturday 22nd July, 2017
england-thrash-west-indies-to-top-table

England thrash West Indies to top table

ESPNCricInfo - Sunday 16th July, 2017

and ball-by-ball details

West Indies threw away a top-class spin-bowling performance by showing a dismal lack of intent with the bat on a slow pitch in Bristol. Having shown little urgency in a tricky chase of 221, West Indies lost wickets in a cluster, ending up ambling to 128 for 9 as England ended the group stage of the 2017 Women's World Cup on top of the table.

England had hardly been clinical themselves when they batted. They played around the legspin of Afy Fletcher, who returned figures of 3 for 33. With Anisa Mohammed and Hayley Matthews playing more than just a supporting hand, the trio tied down England until their captain Heather Knight mounted a late fightback with a gritty 67.

The cushion provided by those extra runs was all England needed. Unlike in England's innings, it was a medium pacer - Natalie Sciver - that inflicted the bulk of the damage. With her team having already combined to reduce West Indies to 73 for 4, Sciver struck thrice in the space of 15 balls to push West Indies into a hole they never got out of.

The only period of stability came during an opening stand of 34 in 9.4 overs. Matthews and Kycia Knight employed great caution in playing out the new ball. By the end of the sixth over, West Indies had scored 16 with just one boundary.

West Indies soon found their fluency. It began with Knight collecting a four with a trickle down to fine leg off Katherine Brunt. She then pulled Anya Shrubsole through midwicket before Matthews launched Laura Marsh for a monstrous six over long-on in the next over. Any signs of a shift in momentum, though, were snuffed out with a run-out the next over.

England then swiftly seized control, helped by a 12-ball duck from Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies captain. Matthews, after a brief period of solidity, was deceived by the angle of a straighter ball that she attempted to sweep.

It wasn't until the 27th over that the first signs of intent appeared when Dottin swept Knight for a boundary. By then, the required rate had crept over six. Heather denied them that when three balls later; Dottin perished lbw trying the same stroke.

With West Indies on shaky ground, Sciver then produced a double-strike in the 32nd over to hasten the slide. First, Chedean Nation was caught brilliantly by Tammy Beaumont running to her right at deep backward square leg, before Merissa Aguilleira misread a straighter one to be trapped lbw. Sciver finished with figures of 3 for 3 in four overs, and West Indies managed all of 29 runs from the final 88 balls.

Akshay Gopalakrishnan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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