WI Women vs. ENG Women, 1st ODI…..England fight back to secure five-run thriller

England’s bowlers produced a superb collective effort to lead a stirring fightback and secure a five-run victory in the first ODI against West Indies in Jamaica.

Katherine Brunt clinched the win to finish with 3 for 24 to follow Alex Hartley’s 3 for 26 and an impressive debut for Sophie Ecclestone.

On a slow pitch, the preparation of which had been effected by Hurricane Matthew, scoring was hard work throughout. Danni Wyatt’s career-best 44 nudged England to 149, but when West Indies were 53 without loss they appeared well on course.

The openers, Hayley Matthews and Shaquana Quintyne, hit more boundaries between then (eight) than England managed in total before spin changed the course of the innings. Ecclestone, the left-arm spinner, removed both openers in consecutive overs before fellow left-armer Hartley picked up three and Laura Marsh also struck.

West Indies’ innings had also been set back when Stafanie Taylor had to retire hurt before facing a delivery. She left the field in an ambulance with a leg injury, before returning a short while later at the fall of the fourth wicket. However, she fell lbw to Hartley and was one of three wickets to fall on 100 including the key scalp of Deandra Dottin who was well caught at mid-off by Georgia Elwiss off Brunt.

At for 100 for 7, England were suddenly favourites but Shemaine Campbelle and Afy Fletcher chipped together a stand of 23 before Fletcher was lbw to Marsh. Campbelle then managed to clear the ropes with just the second six of the day before losing Shamilla Connell to a dubious lbw decision against Brunt.

That left Campelle with the No. 11, debutant Erva Giddings, for company and the pair whittled it down to six required when Giddings was also trapped lbw by Brunt.

Earlier, Brunt was last out for England having made what would end up being a vital 17 off 49 balls. The innings was tough going throughout with openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont unable to find the tempo they did against the less challenging attack of Pakistan in the English season.

Dottin claimed the first wicket in the 14th over and soon had three to her name including captain Heather Knight first ball to put her on a hat-trick.

At 62 for 5, England were floundering but Wyatt and Amy Jones added 45. Wyatt was closing in on a maiden international fifty when she fell to Fletcher and the last four wickets could only muster 17.

(ESPN Sports Media Ltd.)