Reigning champions England face an uphill battle to advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup after West Indies handed them their second loss in their opening two games with a seven-point victory in Dunedin on Tuesday. England’s last two batters were dismissed in the 48th just when it looked like they would hit their winning target of 226 and West Indies celebrated again after hosting New Zealand in the tournament opener of the last week.
It was a first win for the West Indies against England at the World Cup and put them second behind favorites Australia in the standings for the round-robin stage, from which the top four teams move on. qualify for the semi-finals. After losing three top hitters in a Sophie Ecclestone (3-20), West Indies had Shemaine Campbelle (66) and Chedean Nation (45 not out) to thank for a fourth wicket of 123 that helped them to a total of 225-6.
The Islanders used eight bowlers to hold England at bay after a howl of a one-handed catch from Shamilia Connell’s bowling Deandra Dottin (3-38) took Lauren Winfield-Hill out for 12 to give them their first breakthrough. The English tailenders, rallied by Ecclestone’s 33 paces, still looked like they could get the job done, however.
New Zealand had thought the same before the final, needing six runs last Friday just for Dottin to fend off his last three batters. This time it was spinner Anisa Mohammed who made the key intervention in 48th place, sending off Kate Cross for 27 and three balls later Anya Shrubsole for a duck to leave England 218. “It’s not not something I like,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said of the spectacular finishes. “It was a little scary for me but I’m really glad we ended up on the safe side.” England, who lost their opener to Australia by 12 points, will have little respite over the next 11 days with the South Africans second, India fourth and the New Zealand their next three opponents. Captain Heather Knight said she wasn’t too worried. “We lost two close games… not too much of a concern, obviously a bit of frustration,” she said. “We have to be better and come back really ready for that game against South Africa at Mount Maunganui.”
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