England delivered on their promised attack as they began their bid to claim their first T20 World Cup title since 2009 with a seven-wicket win against 2016 champions West Indies.
Sophie Ecclestone’s 3-23 helped England reduce the West Indies to 135-7 in Paarl, while Sophia Dunkley (34 off 18) chased and chased off to a fast start and looked like pilot Heather Knight (32no off 22) and second Nat. Sciver-Brunt (40no off 30) took the team to their target with 33 balls to spare.
Knight had said in his press conference before the game, and while throwing, that England will continue the attacking ideas that have been adopted since Jon Lewis became head coach in November and it proved to be because they scored more than 9.5. it crosses and crosses 22 boundaries.
Ecclestone picked up the big score of West Indies captain Hayley Matthews, lbw for 42 from 32 balls, after the batsman took his team to 69-1 from 10 overs and the England spinner pinched Afy Fletcher (10) and Zaida James. (2) lbw in the 19th over as the Caribbean side faded in the latter half of their innings.
A target of 136 did not challenge a brave England batting side, who scored 246 in the warm-up against South Africa earlier this week, as Knight sealed an emphatic victory by bowling Chinelle Henry for six.
Dunkley followed up his warm-up century against the Proteas and New Zealand with another quick knock, taking the third, bowled by Matthews, for 17 with a straight six and two fours before a superb over from Henry (2 -22).
England won eight in a row on the Caribbean tour in December, sweeping the three-match international series and the five-match T20 series and series, leading Matthews’ team.
West Indies vs England – score summary
West Indies 135-7 from 20 overs: (Matthew 42 from 32); Ecclestone (2-23), Glenn (1-20)
England 138-3 from 1.3 overs: (N Sciver-Brunt (40no off 30), Dunkley (34 off 18), Knight (32no off 22)
West Indies were boosted by the return of good opener Stafanie Taylor but produced a troublesome three off 15 balls, taking 10 runs to get out and rolling an lbw dismissal against Lauren Bell before being bowled in front by Sarah Glenn (1-20).
Matthews never faced such challenges, with a back-to-back boundary from Bell in the third hour and four fours from Katherine-Sciver Brunt in the sixth to make his side 47-0 after the power play before Taylor’s woes ended later.
England were at times comfortable with the ball, posting 18 overs, but sharp in the field at times Alice Capsey and Knight got run-outs – and batted hard.
After Dunkley, Danni Wyatt (11 off nine) and Capsey (13 off 9) departed, Knight and Nat Sciver-Brunt kept the runs going with a steady stand of 67 from 44 balls as England put the trophy on their World Cup rivals .
Australia are favorites to win the tournament and claim a third successive title and a sixth but England, having welcomed Bazball’s reinvigorated men’s Test team and top bowler Ecclestone, are the real contenders.
‘England wants to travel to danger’
Actor Nat Sciver-Brunt…
“I was just looking at the boundary and happy to see the team at home. We want to be aggressive, fight the game and go to danger. When we do that under pressure it’s better. We’re getting used to the wickets well. We’re having fun out here and we hope we can do it.”
Knight: A major role in England
England captain Heather Knight…
“It wasn’t our best practice game, but we want to be fearless and start the game and it was good to chase easily.
“This win was a big step to keep that attitude in the big competition. We have a lovely partnership. The young people bring positivity and are fearless. It’s a good mix and there’s a good vibe around the team.”
England they return to Ireland in Paarl on Monday (1pm kick-off) and will not take part after their opponents stunned favorites Australia in a friendly. West Indiesright now, playing India on Wednesday.
India begin the campaign on Sunday against Pakistan (1pm) before Sri Lanka, who stunned hosts South Africa on Friday night, will look to make it two wins from two when they face Bangladesh (5pm).