FLORENCE HALL, Jamaica — England women’s batter Danielle Wyatt proved a thorn in the side of the West Indies as her playerof- the-match performance lifted the visitors to what turned out to be a winning total in the opening One-Day International at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium on Saturday.
Batting at number six, she hit a pivotal 44 runs from 64 balls and was the glue that held the England innings together after the West Indies had made early inroads.
England eventually scrapped their way to 149 and the bowlers held their composure to restrict West Indies women to 144. The teams square off in the second encounter of the five-match series today at the same venue.
Stung by the five-run loss, the West Indies say they will be mindful of keeping the pressure on their opponents throughout the entire innings.
I think the team eased up off the gas [pedal] and they made it to 149 runs,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said ahead of yesterday’s training session at the Trelawny stadium.
“But with all that said, we should have chased down those runs because the game was there for the taking,” added the Jamaican. Vasbert Drakes, the West Indies head coach, said Saturday’s game is part of a learning curve.
“I think on reflection, coming out of the game, a lot of learning took place. And this [second game] is the opportunity to right the wrongs,” he said.
“We have to make sure our skill level is on point on any given day and certainly yesterday there were some gray areas that we will have to focus on.”
The diminutive Wyatt said she and her teammates are focused on keeping the advantage. “We’ll want to build on that win. I just tried to go out and bat with intent. The wicket was a bit low, but I tried to be positive, which is when I’m at my best.
That’s probably the most mature innings I’ve played for England. I did think [a total of] 150 to 160 would have been tough on that track and I was right,” Wyatt said.
England’s opening batter Tammy Beaumont said the team’s bowlers did well to skittle out the West Indies, who were at one stage 53 without loss.
She stressed that inexperienced, slow, left-arm, orthodox bowlers Sophie Ecclestone and Alex Hartley and all-action pace bowler Katherine Brunt were particularly outstanding.
“Our two young, left-arm spinners bowled really well. Sophie Ecclestone [was in her] first game and Alex Hartley, playing a second time, and they came in and bowled with that maturity…and to deal with that pressure.
“Katherine Brunt is always fired up and bowling with passion, and for her to come back and get the key wicket of Deandra Dottin was probably the big turning point.
We always look to Katherine to throw her the ball and get us a wicket and for her to do that in her second and third spells was exactly what we needed,” Beaumont told the Jamaica Observer.
Brunt dismissed the hard-hitting Dottin for a top score of 27, before returning in her final spell to end the match with the wickets of Shamilia Connell and Erva Giddings.
Brunt ended with 3-24, while Hartley (3-26) and debutante Ecclestone (2-28) offered excellent support. With three games remaining to be played at Sabina Park in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, after today’s encounter, Wyatt said England can still improve.
“We’re going to review that game and see what we can do better. Our top order is in good form so we’ll look to be positive against the spinners, and there is a long way to go in the series so we’ll see what happens,” said the middle-order batter.
— Sanjay Myers