It was a game of contrasting halves.
First, the spirited West Indies women dominated with the ball.
Then, they were equally convincing, as they disappointed with the bat.
The regional women meekly handed an unassailable 3-0 series lead to England today as they lost the third of five One-Day Internationals by 10 runs at Wantage Road, Northampton.An excellent bowling performance, spearheaded by Shemaine Campbelle 2 for 14 in four overs, Alisa Mohammed 2 for 11 in three overs and Shanel Daley 2 for 18 in four overs, restricted the hosts to 103 for 7 in their 20 overs and presented the West Indies with an excellent opportunity of pulling a match back.
England’s top four of Charlotte Edwards, Laura Marsh, Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway all made starts before failing to make a major contribution. Sarah Taylor top-scored with 27 from 31 balls in which she struck two boundaries. Marsh and Charlotte Edwards shared an opening stand of 33 but good bowling from the West Indies derailed England’s batting efforts.
Then came West Indies’ nightmare innings that stood at six for two wickets very early and their best batter Stafanie Taylor back in the pavilion, bowled by right-arm medium pacer Arran Brindle for 4.
Taylor was making her first appearance in the series having arrived late from Jamaica because of examinations. There was no brisk start this time around from opening partner Tremayne Smartt who was also bowled by Brindle on her first delivery faced.
Captain Merissa Aguilleira tried to steady the innings with a 34-ball 18 but wickets kept tumbling around her. She was eventually run-out by Greenway.
The pugnacious Deandra Dottin gave some late hope of a come-from-behind victory with a 17-ball 24 that included two boundaries and a six. But her dismissal, bowled by Katherine Brunt to be ninth out, basically ended the match as a contest. Only Dottin and Aguilleira reached double figures in the dismal batting performance.
Slow left-armer Holly Colvin claimed 3 for 13 and Brindle finished with 3 for 16.
Player of the match Arran Brindle said: “We hoped to get the best out of the track batting first so we were pleased to win the toss. We looked to hit the big corners and run twos to get the runs on the board and it paid off.
“We knew we were always in the game, we just had to bowl well and we did that. I was pleased to contribute but all the bowlers bowled well today, wickets are great but economy is the biggest thing in Twenty20 cricket.
“Every game is massive for this team; we want to win every game so just because we are three games up in the series doesn’t mean we are going to take our foot off the gas.
“I’m really looking forward to the game at my home ground of Hove on Saturday and hope people come down to support us.”
Aguilleira was gracious in defeat but disappointed that her team could not have topped England’s very moderate total and keep the series alive.
The fourth match is on Saturday at Hove with the final game at nearby Arundel on Sunday before the West Indies head to Sri Lanka.
England suffered the loss of Susie Rowe early in the day when she sustained a broken thumb that has now ruled her out of the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. (WG)