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Hosts England thump West Indies to seal top spot
ICC Women's World Cup

Hosts England thump West Indies to seal top spot

In terms of qualifications this match was not a significant one for both teams. England had already qualified for the semi-finals, and the Windies stood no chance of qualifying. The West Indies were playing to salvage some hope, while England’s performance would determine who they were going to play in the semis. The match saw England finish at the top of the points table with a comfortable 92 run win.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for England as they hoisted a target of 220 while struggling to battle the West Indies’ spinners. Openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont gave their team a decent start, especially Beaumont who made 42 runs from 71 deliveries. After Beaumont departed in the twenty-first over, Heather Knight stepped in to piece together partnerships with the middle and lower order. The West Indies spinners bowled expertly, particularly Anisa Mohammed and Afy Fletcher (Fletcher took 3 wickets for 33 runs). Laura Marsh stepped up the momentum in the death overs to make a handy 31 off 19 balls. After a great bowling effort, the West Indies at this stage would have been kicking themselves for giving away 26 extras and some shoddy fielding in the middle.

Openers Matthews and Kycia Knight played the new ball expertly and gave their team a fighting chance to chase down the manageable total. The first to fall was Kycia Knight in the ninth over through a run-out executed by Fran Wilson. The Windies started to wobble as skipper Stafanie Taylor fell for a duck soon after. Matthews put up a defiant front with a struggling but useful 29 runs from 64 balls before being dismissed for an LBW by Alex Hartley. After that, Natalie Sciver stepped in to deliver the final nail in the coffin with 3 wickets within 15 balls. By the time she was through with her wickets, the Windies were languishing at 99/7 having lost Chedean Nation, the only batter who looked like putting up a fight. Soon the writing was on the wall and the West Indies could only reach a sub-par 128 for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of 50 overs.

England now enter the semi-finals with a lot to be confident about. They will be playing the daunting South Africans in the first semi this Tuesday and it’s going to be an interesting match, as on their day South Africa can seriously trouble any opposition.

England v West Indies ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights

Best Batter- Heather Knight, 67 off 88

If it weren’t for Heather Knight’s fighting 67 runs off 88 balls, England would have been in grave trouble. She played a captain’s knock and built partnerships in the middle of the English innings. Negotiating some expert bowling and difficult conditions, Knight ensured that her team finished at the top of the points table.

Best Bowler- Afy Fletcher, 3 for 33

Although her team lost, Afy Fletcher bowled brilliant leg-spin to upset the English middle order and was instrumental in restricting the opposition to just 220 runs. Supported by her counterparts, Hayley Matthews and Anisa Mohammed, Fletcher made the most of the overcast conditions and the slow pitch to keep the batters from settling.

Afy Fletcher takes two in three with the dismissals of Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver