England 138 for 3 (N Sciver-Brunt 40*, Dunkley 34) West Indies 135 for 7 (Matthews 42, Eccleson 3-23) from seven wickets
The West Indies No.3 made 34 off 37 before suffering some clever glove work from Amy Jones and two run-outs to help England keep the shackles in the closing stages. Nevertheless, it was West Indies’ best first batting total in a T20I against England since they scored 140 for 6 at Bridgetown in 2013.
Salim Dunkley set the tone.
England have touted the attacking style they have adopted since Jon Lewis took over as head coach, and they walked away early in what could have been a difficult chase. Dunkley was aggressive in chief, with the opener particularly fond of Mathews’ off-spin when the West Indies captain dismissed himself in the third over.
Mathews’ first ball was bowled calmly over long-on for the first six of the match, and she proceeded to top it twice more with a pair of controlled lofts towards long-off. England were 37 when Danny White was dismissed at deep cover in the next over, and made his 50 off just 29 balls, before Dunkley’s enjoyment was cut short by Henry’s brilliant reflex catch-and-bolt.
Skewer Burnt and Knight put the foot down.
England were already more than halfway to their target when Kepsey was stumped yards from his ground, charging Effie Fletcher. After eight overs, the required 72 to a comfortable 61 but Skewer Burnt and Knight ensured they were not troubled by scoring nearly ten overs apiece during their partnership.
18-year-old spinner Zena James, playing her second T20I, saw her first ball – a high full toss called a no-ball – swatted disdainfully over the rope at deep square leg by Sciver-Brunt, while Knight brought up the latter. I reverse sweep out for my first boundary in the over. In all, there were six overs in which England scored two or more boundaries, and the West Indies suffered their 14th consecutive defeat in T20Is.
Matthews flies, Taylor stalls
Winning the toss, West Indies sent their two most experienced batsmen to the top of the order. Mathews has been supportive in recent times, but Taylor’s return from a back injury for his first T20I since July 2021 came with the promise of more support – although, in the event, Mathews continued to toil. .
She was in regular touch during the power play, during which eight fours flowed off her bat. Mathews fell in the way of Lauren Bell in the third over of the innings, slicing and driving a succession of boundaries, fours from Eccleston and then three more from Catherine Skewer-Brunt – two deftly headed deep into the third over, the second rocket. Bridge. Sixth is to leave the West Indies in a healthy position.
Taylor was very fluid, struggling to bat the ball and taking 10 balls to get to the mark. She was dismissed in Bell’s first over but successfully overturned Vrinda Rathi’s LBW decision. After six overs, he had 3 for 13 – while Mathews had 37 from 23 at the other end. But then, on the second ball after the powerplay, Taylor played back Sarah Glenn and was put out of her trouble.
Campbell kept Windies out of the soup
Mathews’s LBW dismissal in an attempt to clean-sweep Ecclestone was the point at which England began to tighten their grip. Shabika Gajjanbi was run out trying to get back to two runs in the next over, and the West Indies were grateful to Campbell’s nimble feet and hands during a 31-41 stand with Henry. Campbell hit four fours and five twos but Knight’s direct hit was brilliantly caught by Jones at the wicket before Henry was run out.
Ecclestone helped prevent any lower-order heroics, finishing with clean figures of 24 for 3, as England hit just one boundary off the last 23 balls of the innings.
Alan Gardner is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick