England 42 for 7 (Beaumont 9, Connell 3-14) beat West Indies 41 for 3 (Taylor 15*, McLean 14*) by three wickets
England won a short but entertaining final fixture to secure a 5-0 sweep of their T20I series against West Indies.
The hosts won the toss and bowled first in a match reduced to five overs per side after heavy rain over Derby’s Incora County Ground delayed the start by nearly two and a half hours on Wednesday night.
Needing 42 for victory, England slumped to 5 for 2 inside the first over of the chase, but they claimed victory in a frenetic final over featuring two run outs but followed by a rash of no-balls from Shakera Selman which ultimately sealed the result with three balls remaining.
After Danni Wyatt left the England squad bubble for personal reasons, Fran Wilson returned to the side and Freya Davies made her first appearance in the series for the rested Anya Shrubsole.
Davies opened proceedings in her eighth T20I and almost had a valuable wicket first ball, which narrowly went over the stumps after Deandra Dottin swung and missed.
Dottin clipped the third ball of the match through long-on for four before sending Davies’ next delivery over deep midwicket for her 100th six in T20Is.
Davies then had Hayley Matthews out for a duck, caught by Mady Villiers running back from mid-on ending a lean series for Matthews, who only reached double figures twice in five innings with a highest score of 21.
Katherine Brunt removed the danger posed by Dottin in the second over with a short ball that Dottin sent looping to Sarah Glenn at short third man to be out for 11.
The sort of Sophie Ecclestone magic which has become a mainstay of England’s attack removed Chedean Nation, who advanced down the pitch and ended up yorking herself and leaving for nought.
The best West Indies could manage was captain Stafanie Taylor’s unbeaten 15 from 10 balls. Natasha McLean, who was among four players to come into the side as the tourists rang in the changes again, was 14 not out, her solitary boundary, a massive six off Ecclestone over deep midwicket from the final ball of the innings, pushing West Indies’ total to 41 for 3.
England’s pursuit got off to a challenging start when Heather Knight spooned Shamilia Connell’s second legitimate delivery – her first ball was a wide – to Stafanie Taylor at cover for four and Amy Jones miscued to McLean at mid-on for a duck two balls later.
Selman conceded 12 runs off the second over, including a no-ball and an out-swinger that was deemed wide, but she managed to claim the wicket of Tammy Beaumont to a top-edge that found Nation in the covers for 9 with the last ball of the over.
Sciver and Brunt then fell in consecutive balls, Sciver to a very nearly botched run-out as Selman dived too early and had to reach to break the stumps, and Brunt to an absolute gem of a catch by Taylor, launching herself to her left and pulling the ball down at cover. And with their senior pair gone, England needed 15 off the last two overs.
The inexperienced pair of Sarah Glenn and Sophia Dunkley kept England on track with a succession of well-worked ones and twos, although they then got a bit too ambitious in the final over. With seven needed from six, Glenn and then Wilson were run out in from consecutive deliveries, attempting to come back for the second run.
That left England needing three runs from the remaining three balls. But Selman’s overstep then meant England were 41 for 7 facing a free hit and then a high wide no-ball from Selman handed victory to the hosts on a plate as they ended on 42 for 7, still with three balls to spare.
Connell was named Player of the Match for her three wickets, while legspinner Glenn was Player of the Series for her performance with ball and bat.
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