Campbelle shines as West Indies women stun England to stay unbeaten

West Indies 225 for 6 (Campbelle 66, Nation 49*, Matthews 45, Ecclestone 3-20) beat England 218 (Beaumont 46, Connell 3-38, Mohammed 2-24, Matthews 2-40) by seven runs

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After their takedown of hosts New Zealand on the opening night, West Indies beat England for the first time at a Women’s World Cup to throw the qualification race wide open. A second straight win, this one almost as late in the script as the previous one, took them to the top of the standings, even as the defending champions suffered their second straight loss.

Stafanie Taylor‘s side defended 225 on a slow pitch in a see-saw match. For a while, it seemed to have settled with England as their ninth-wicket pair of Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross added 61 to take them within nine runs of victory. Then some magic, along with a bit of luck, for Anisa Mohammed turned the game again as West Indies pulled off a sensational win.

Tasked with bowling the 48th over, Mohammed was at the receiving end of a ferocious Ecclestone hit. But she stuck out a hand and deflected the ball on to the stumps to run Cross out at the non-striker’s end. Three balls later, Mohammed bowled Anya Shrubsole, who yorked herself as she charged down the track and missed a full ball, to seal the deal.

Anisa Mohammed leads the West Indies victory sprint after her sensational last over Getty Images

It was heartbreaking for England after Ecclestone and Cross had brought them back from 156 for 8, through a mix of street-smart cricket and calculated aggression.

The game was set up, however, by West Indies openers Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin, who added 81. Then they lost four wickets for 17 runs to concede the advantage. And then came the bailout courtesy a 123-run fifth-wicket stand between Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation, which took them to 225, which at the halfway point seemed a decent total on a slow pitch.

It looked even bigger than it was when England were reduced to 94 for 5, before Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley put on 60 for the sixth wicket to keep England in the hunt. But they fell away again by losing three wickets in six balls before Ecclestone and Cross took them close, only to fall short again.

Both teams will be disappointed with their efforts on the field. England dropped four chances, and West Indies three. England sent down 23 wides, West Indies 15. Yet, the clincher that started England’s troubles was Dottin’s leaping one-handed stunner at backward point that broke England’s steady opening stand. She was fully airborne as she leapt to her left and put out her non-dominant hand to dismiss Lauren Winfield-Hill. It came on the back of two dropped catches.

Three overs later, Heather Knight was out caught behind as she advanced down the pitch to a Matthews delivery that drifted away and held its line. The decision was initially referred for a stumping, but UltraEdge confirmed a thin spike and Knight was given out. Matthews had a second when Nat Sciver top-edged a slog sweep to mid-on. England had slipped to 58 for 3 at that stage.

When Amy Jones offered a return catch that was shelled by Aaliyah Alleyne, England had a brief reprieve, but Alleyne had the last laugh when she had Jones driving to Matthews at slip. Tammy Beaumont looked good, but fell to Mohammed when she played all around a full ball. A wobble had turned into a full-blown collapse.

Deandra Dottin celebrates with team-mates after catching Lauren Winfield-Hill • Mar 08, 2022 © ICC via Getty Images

Dunkley and Wyatt repaired the innings by ticking the runs sensibly. The pair put on 60 and appeared to have eased the nerves in the England camp when Dunkley mistimed a swat straight to Taylor at short midwicket in the 34th over. Two balls later, Wyatt sliced a lofted hit to mid-off. When Katherine Brunt slapped Shamilia Connell to point, it looked like the writing was on the wall at 156 for 8.

Earlier, Dottin and Matthews started briskly, scoring at close to six runs an over. It changed after the 11th over. Cross could have had Matthews but for a return catch that went down. She did, however, apply the squeeze with Sciver before Ecclestone forced a slowdown through eight boundary-less overs that led to a collapse.

Matthews was the first to go on 45 when she top-edged a heave to short third to break an 81-run opening stand in the 21st over. Three balls later, Dottin was run-out after a mix-up with Kycia Knight, as Wyatt swooped in to under-arm a direct hit at the striker’s end. One ball later, Taylor met a slow Ecclestone delivery with an open-faced bat to defend but got the outside edge and was caught behind for a first-ball duck.

West Indies could have lost a fourth shortly after but Campbelle’s lbw decision was overturned by DRS when the impact – she had attempted a sweep off Knight – was found to be outside off. But England only had to wait until the next delivery to get a wicket as Knight drilled Ecclestone straight to short cover.

West Indies were 98 for 4 after 27 overs. Only 37 runs came in the next ten overs, with just one boundary, as England continued to apply pressure, but Campbelle and Nation absorbed it. They saw off Ecclestone, who bounced back from none for 77 against Australia to finish with 3 for 20 today, and brought up their 50-run stand in the 40th over.

As the innings approached its end, the pair became more aggressive. Nation broke a 13-over drought when she drove Sciver square of the wicket for a boundary in the 45th. Then Campbelle swivel-pulled Sciver behind square and flicked her to midwicket to raise a 70-ball half-century. Soon, they also raised the century stand. This proved to be the difference in the end as it gave West Indies a total they managed to defend after a struggle. (ESPNcricinfo)

 

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