September 27, 2023

England batted with the aggression they’d promised as they started their bid for a primary T20 World Cup title since 2009 with a rampant seven-wicket win over 2016 champions West Indies.

Sophie Ecclestone’s 3-23 helped England restrict West Indies to 135-7 in Paarl, whereas Sophia Dunkley (34 off 18) obtained the run chase off to a speedy begin after which watched on as skipper Heather Knight (32no off 22) and deputy Nat Sciver-Brunt (40no off 30) took the group to their goal with 33 balls to spare.

Knight had mentioned in her pre-match press convention, and once more on the toss, that England would proceed the attacking mindset they’ve adopted since Jon Lewis grew to become head coach in November and that proved the case as they scored at a charge in extra of 9.5 runs an over and hit 22 boundaries.

Ecclestone picked up the important thing wicket of West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews, lbw for 42 from 32 balls, after the batter had propelled her aspect to 69-1 from 10 overs and the England spinner went on to pin Afy Fletcher (10) and Zaida James (2) lbw within the nineteenth over because the Caribbean aspect light within the ultimate half of their innings.

England's Sophie Ecclestone (R) celebrates after the dismissal of West Indies' Hayley Matthews (not seen) during the Group B T20 women's World Cup cricket match between West Indies and England at Boland Park in Paarl on February 11, 2023. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP) (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)
Sophie Ecclestone took three wickets as England restricted West Indies to 135-7 earlier than coasting to their goal inside 15 overs

A goal of 136 didn’t problem an emboldened England batting unit, one which had thumped 246 in a warm-up fixture towards South Africa earlier this week, with Knight sealing an emphatic victory by placing Chinelle Henry for six over long-off.

Dunkley adopted warm-up half-centuries towards the Proteas and New Zealand with one other brisk knock, taking the third over, bowled by Matthews, for 17 with a chic straight six and two fours earlier than she fell to a superb return catch from Henry (2-22).

England too highly effective for West Indies in Paarl

England had reeled off eight consecutive wins over West Indies on a tour of the Caribbean in December, sweeping a three-match one-day worldwide collection after which a five-match T20 worldwide and collection, and their dominance of Matthews’ group continued.

West Indies vs England – rating abstract

West Indies 135-7 from 20 overs: (Matthews 42 off 32); Ecclestone (2-23), Glenn (1-20)

England 138-3 from 14.3 overs: (N Sciver-Brunt (40no off 30), Dunkley (34 off 18), Knight (32no off 22)

West Indies had been bolstered by the return of fit-again opener Stafanie Taylor however she made a tortuous three from 15 balls, taking 10 deliveries to get off the mark and overturning an lbw dismissal towards Lauren Bell earlier than being pinned in entrance by Sarah Glenn (1-20).

Matthews skilled no such troubles, with back-to-back boundaries off Bell within the third over and three fours off Katherine-Sciver Brunt within the sixth powering her aspect to 47-0 after the powerplay earlier than Taylor’s painful innings was ended an over later.

England had been at instances unfastened with the ball, delivery 18 extras, however sharp within the discipline every now and then with Alice Capsey and Knight securing run-outs – and so they had been then forceful with the bat.

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England captain Heather Knight ran out Chinelle Henry with a direct hit from cowl at Boland Park

After Dunkley, Danni Wyatt (11 off 9) and Capsey (13 off 9) departed, Knight and Nat Sciver-Brunt saved the runs flowing with an unbroken stand of 67 from 44 balls as England laid down a marker to their World Cup rivals.

Australia are the overwhelming favourites to win this event and declare a 3rd title in a row and sixth general however England, having embraced the Bazball mentality that has reinvigorated the boys’s Check group and with a world-class bowler in Ecclestone, are actual contenders.

‘England wish to stroll in direction of the hazard’

Participant of the Match, Nat Sciver-Brunt…

“I used to be boundary-focused and pleased to see the group dwelling. We wish to be aggressive, take the sport on and stroll in direction of the hazard. The extra we try this underneath stress the higher. We’re adapting to the wickets very well. We’re having enjoyable out right here and hopefully we will maintain that going.”

Nat Sciver-Brunt (Getty Images)
Nat Sciver-Brunt top-scored for England with an unbeaten 40 from 30 balls

Knight: Massive step for England

England captain Heather Knight…

“It wasn’t our greatest fielding and bowling efficiency, however we wish to be fearless and take the sport on and it was good to have a straightforward chase. We tried to go onerous on the high and be constructive and rating runs.

“This win was a giant step to preserving that mindset in a giant event. We’ve got a stunning mix. The kids carry the positivity and are fearless. It is a good combine and there’s a good vibe across the group.”

What’s subsequent?

Monday thirteenth February 12:30pm

Wednesday fifteenth February 12:30pm

England return to motion towards Eire in Paarl on Monday (1pm begin) and won’t be taking their opponents calmly after they shocked event favourites Australia in a warm-up match. West Indies, in the meantime, play India on Wednesday.

India start their marketing campaign on Sunday towards Pakistan (1pm) earlier than Sri Lanka, who shocked hosts South Africa on Friday evening, look to make it two wins from two once they meet Bangladesh (5pm).

Sunday twelfth February 12:30pm

Sunday twelfth February 4:30pm

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