7th over: England 42-2 (Sciver 19, Knight 10) Deandra Dottin is on for a bowl. Interesting. A wonderful striker with the bat, but a useful seamer as well. And she seams it a mile! First ball, curls away a touch and then jags back, way past Knight’s push, and past off stump. Dottin is a shorter character than the specialist bowlers, very strongly built, and she’s putting a bit behind the ball today. A couple of singles, then Knight drags a slog in the air past midwicket for two. Uncontrolled. Slower ball driven to the deep cover, one run. But again a slip up late in the over, full and on middle stump, easy for Sciver to whip behind square leg for four.
There has been some good bowling in the last few overs, but each over has ended up being expensive.
6th over: England 33-2 (Sciver 14, Knight 6) Henry will close out the Powerplay. Sciver walks across to slap straight at point, then connects nicely with a straight drive but Henry plucks it in her follow-through. Third attempt, Sciver takes a single to square leg. Knight is blocked up by the off side field. Interesting field: two players behind square, plus an extra cover and a mid-off, with a deep cover sweeper. So, the tactic is to bowl outside off stump consistently and stop the scoring on that side. Two singles from the over.
5th over: England 31-2 (Sciver 13, Knight 5) Nearly another wicket for Connell! She angles in at the body, and Sciver is through the shot a bit early, perhaps just flinching a bit, and it takes a leading edge that hangs in the air but drops wide of the bowler in her follow-through. Sciver shows what she can do next ball: just a fraction short outside off, and that’s enough for her to carve four runs through cover. Following that is a near run-out, with Knight scrambling to make her ground at the striker’s end. A direct hit would have had her, but she gets in while the wicketkeeper takes the bails. She gets rewarded on strike though, a ball on leg stump that she can glance for four. Connell gets back on line to finish the over, beating Knight with the perfect line and length outside off stump.
4th over: England 22-2 (Sciver 8 Knight 1) Chinelle Henry, another tall quick for this West Indies team, starts her work well too. Goes straight through Knight with a ball that shapes away and then cuts back to beat the inside edge. Unfortunately for the bowler this all happened wide of the off stump, so Knight survives. Henry also fields sharply off her own bowling. But she slips up to finish the over, bowling a full toss that Sciver deflects away in front of square leg for four.
3rd over: England 14-2 (Sciver 1 Knight 1) The old firm reunites, then. Natalie Sciver, England’s biggest hitter, was the first replacement, Heather Knight the captain is the second. Connell closes out an over conceding only two singles.
WICKET! Wyatt c Grimmond b Connell 11 (England 13-2)
A second in the over for Connell! Again that wide line, Wyatt gets a good piece of it, slicing the fullish delivery out to deep point. But West Indies have planned for this, they have one of their two boundary riders permitted at this stage of the innings out for that shot. Running in, sliding on her knees, Grimmond takes a good catch. Both of England’s opening pocket-rockets have gone.
WICKET! Beaumont c Campbelle b Connell 1 (England 12-1)
Connell gets her reward! After a good first over she produces more of the same, a fuller ball swinging away outside off stump, and this time Beaumont’s swing gets a thick edge through to the keeper. Well held by Campbelle as it goes hard to her right.
2nd over: England 12-0 (Beaumont 1, Wyatt 11) Shakera Selman will be the other opening bowler for West Indies today. Loping run and she starts outside off stump, which is where Wyatt likes it. Carves in the air with an open blade behind point, and it looks a chance for a minute but dips before reaching Dottin. It also confounds her on the bounce and gets through her for four! Should have stopped that. Wyatt celebrates by slamming another aerial shot down through mid-off for four more. That’s her style, Wyatt: airborne through the off side without much concern for catchers. It has a failure rate, but when it comes off, it’s lucrative. She stabs a single off her hip with a cramped pull shot. Beaumont wants to join the party, charging down the pitch at Selman but missing. She’s lucky the keeper is standing back, so there’s no stumping.
Next ball, dropped! Selman nearly produced a remarkable dismissal. She bowls a good full ball, Wyatt sings hard through the drive but can’t get elevation. It comes back at the bowler hard and Selman gets a hand up above her head and parries it softly up in the air. Leanne Kirby is at mid-off where the ball loops, and is easily in position to catch it, but she somehow manages to let it slip through her hands it hits her in the mouth. She’s in some trouble and is leaving the field to get some treatment, in pain. What a shemozzle all up.
1st over: England 2-0 (Beaumont 1, Wyatt 1) And we’re away. Shamilia Connell, the tall and strong opening bowler for West Indies, starts in the channel outside Tammy Beaumont’s off stump. Draws a flashy drive that doesn’t make contact, then a wider slap at a ball swinging away that misses as well. A good start from Connell, it takes Beaumont four deliveries to jam a single away to the leg side, then Wyatt finds cover for no score before dragging across the line for a quick run to mid-on. Nothing convincing with the bat in that opening over.
Especially important news for West Indies that Hayley Matthews hasn’t been hampered in the medium term by the back injury that bothered her the other night. She hasn’t made runs for them lately, but at her best she’s their best player. One has to keep hoping that she’ll come good.
England win the toss and will bat
It’s worked so far, so Heather Knight will make sure they bat again. Set the total, apply the same pressure. An unchanged team for England.
Two changes for West Indies: Chedean Nation comes in for Britney Cooper, and Aaliyah Alleyne is out for Sheneta Grimmond.
Hello all. It’s cricket time again. West Indies to the rescue for England’s summer, first with the men’s Test team and now with the women playing some Twenty20 matches. England have the chance today to win the series in straight sets, to mix our sporting metaphors. They’ve been very consistent in their two wins so far: bat first, run up a big total, and win by 47 runs. Twice in a row. With this being the third match of five, West Indies need to win today to stay in the series.
Easier said than done. West Indies women have been on the slide since becoming world champions in 20-over cricket back in 2016. Not much has gone right in the years that have followed. The good news in this series is that Deandra Dottin has been making runs after some lean years. The bad news is that out of 16 other innings played by her teammates in this series, one has got out of single figures. Hmm.
Heather Knight’s team has a much more even spread of contributors (which is to say, more than one) and they should get it done today. Should. But that’s why we play the games…