England stutter but win against Windies in ICC Women’s World Cup

Mumbai, Feb 5: England seamers Katherine Brunt (2-10) and Anya Shrubsole (4-21) took full advantage of early morning conditions at the Bandra Kurla Complex Ground to dismiss West Indies Women for a paltry 101 in a Group A game of the ICC Women’s World Cup.

England stuttered in its chase losing four wickets before achieving the target with 15 overs to spare.

After a surprising decision by West Indies captain Merissa Aguillera to send England into bowl, Brunt and Shrubsole got breakthroughs in their first overs. Brunt struck off the second ball of the match, sending Kycia Knight packing. In the next over, Shrubsole cleaned up Stafanie Taylor, centurion from the last match, who played all over a full delivery.

Shrubsole struck twice in the 9th over to get rid of Shemaine Campbelle and Juliana Nero to leave the West Indies women reeling at 14-4. Once skipper Aguillera was run-out going for a non-existent single and the dangerous Deandra Dottin edged a Brunt delivery to wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor, West Indies were staring down the barrel at 31 for six wickets.

Kyshona Knight (33) and Shanel Daley (30 not out) salvaged the situation to some extent adding 58 for the seventh wicket, but once Kyshona was stumped off Arran Brindle, West Indies quickly collapsed. Brindle cleaned up the tail to finish with dream figures of 3-0 off two overs. Six West Indies women were dismissed for a duck with only two getting into double figures. Extras were the third highest contributor with 28 courtesy three wides that went for boundaries.

In reply, England started off steadily gathering 66 for the opening wicket, before losing four quick wickets for 13 runs before knocking off the runs.

Player of the match, Shrubsole was pleased with her effort. “I didn’t expect such helpful conditions in India. But with the 9am start, there is dew and the ball always does a bit.”

Shrubsole, whose figures were a career-best for the 21-year-old, said West Indies decision to bat first was surprising. “Obviously, they had their own ideas of what they wanted to do. We were pleased to be bowling on that wicket in the morning and hoping to get something off it, which we did. The toss does not win you games, you still have to go out there and do what you have to do and we did it in this game.”

England’s chase proved on the slow side, taking 35 overs to reach the total. However, Shrubsole said that their main focus was just to get over the line. “The wicket did a bit all day. Even during the end, their bowlers were getting some swing. We wanted to get over the line. It was important to get a win and get into the super sixes. That was our focus.”

West Indies captain Aguillera said that her batters could not cope up with the conditions at the start. “When we batted, it was a bit damp. The pitch played extremely different to what we have been accustomed to in this tournament. The ball was swinging a lot, even when the ball was old, it was swinging a lot. The sun came out pretty late. It was about adjustment and we were not up to it today.

“We are a young team and such things happen when you don’t have much experience. We need to be more consistent and that is an area of concern for us.”

Aguillera admitted that the decision to bat first was not the correct one. “If I was given a chance again, I would bowl first. It could have gone differently. But it happened for a reason. We will learn from it and try and go forward from here.”

On England’s slow batting, Aguillera said that West Indies bowlers deserved credit. “My feeling was that England wanted to win without losing a wicket. But credit must go to our bowlers also, who bowled very well.”

West Indies now awaits the result of the match between India and Sri Lanka to find out its fate in the tournament. (ANI)