Windies Women remain unbeaten in Women’s World Cup

Anisa Mohammed and Hayley Matthews

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

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.

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.

Hayley Matthews

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.