St John’s (Antigua) : Half-centuries from Nat Sciver and Danni Wyatt, coupled with a four-fer from off-spinner Charlie Dean led England to a 142-run win over West Indies in their women’s ODI series opener at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
Pushed into batting first, Nat’s 90 and Danni’s 68 took England to 307/7 in their 50 overs. In reply, Charlie spun a web around the West Indies batters to pick four wickets and be the chief contributor in skittling the hosts out for just 165 in 40.3 overs to give England a 1-0 lead in three-match series.
England had an early slowdown after Alice Capsey was caught behind for 17 off Cherry Ann Fraser while Sophia Dunkley fell cheaply to Chinelle Henry. Nat, back in the team after missing out on series against India to focus on her mental health, kept the England innings on track with partnerships of 42 with Tammy Beaumont (33), 46 with regular skipper Heather Knight (16), and a crucial 103-run off just 95 balls with Danni in taking the visitors to a huge total.
Nat initially relied on strike rotation before hitting nine fours in her 96-ball knock. She fell ten runs short of an ODI century when she was dismissed in the 40th over by Chinelle. Danni played the second perfect fiddle to Nat, smashing four boundaries and three sixes in her 60-ball stay at the crease to make her 100th ODI match memorable.
After the duo fell, newly-appointed vice-captain Amy Jones hit a rapid 29-ball 30 and put on a solid 45-run stand off 41 balls with Sophie Ecclestone (19 not out) to take England past 300-mark. In defence of a mammoth total, England began strongly when Kate Cross took out Aaliyah Alleyne cheaply in the third over and skipper Hayley Matthews retired hurt on 21.
The hosts were kept afloat by a 63-run stand between Kycia Knight (39) and Rashada Williams (34), before the latter was run-out by Nat in the 20th over. In the next over, a Shemaine Campbelle was dismissed for a duck by Charlie, while Heather removed Kycia to leave West Indies in trouble.
Hayley returned to make 34, but once she was trapped lbw by seamer Lauren Bell, it was game over for West Indies. Their end came quickly as Charlie took out Afy, Chedean Nation, and Sheneta Grimmond, before Sophia dismissed Shakera Selman to give England a rather one-sided win, with only three West Indies batters going past 30.
“Both facets of the game (batting and bowling) we didn’t do what we wanted on a decent and England was able to capitalise on it. We’re going back to the drawing board and see what we can improve on in the next game.”
“Our power play was pretty good but we let a little too many runs go by in the middle overs. It was good to see the partnership between Kycia and Rashada and I hope we can get a few more of those,” said Hayley to CWI Media after the match ended.
Brief Scores: England 307/7 in 50 overs (Nat Sciver 90, Danni Wyatt 68, Chinelle Henry 3/59, Afy Fletcher 2/66) beat West Indies 165 in 40.3 overs (Kycia Knight 39, Hayley Matthews 34; Charlie Dean 4/35, Kate Cross 2/27) by 142 runs.