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cricketIt was a final preliminary game fit to be

called “a final”.

And tomorrow West Indies and England’s

Women will be hard-pressed to repeat the

excitement that unfolded last night in their

International Tri-Nation Series

encounter at Kensington Oval which was tied

and then won in the Super Over

by the hosts.

The West Indies, led by Stafanie Taylor

who was deputising for captain Merissa

Aguilleira who was absent due to the flu,

won the toss and batted. England were led by

Jenny Gunn in place of their injured skipper

Charlotte Edwards.

The Caribbean lasses were immediately in

trouble with the dismissal of opener Kyshona

Knight for 8 torturous runs scored off 23

balls, in the fifth over with the score on 14.

Her fellow opener Juliana Nero was out

for 11 in the eighth over, and the West

Indies had crawled to 29. The score slowly

crept 37 for the loss of two wickets at the

end of the tenth over.

Taylor, who batted at number three, held

the innings together with a solid 40 made

in 55 minutes from 43 balls with two fours.

She shared a third-wicket partnership of 32

runs with debutant Chinelle Henry which

consumed 7.3 overs.

Henry was out for 12 in the fifteenth

over, and was replaced by Deandra Dottin,

arguably international women’s cricket most

exciting and dynamic talent.

Blessed with excellent upper body

strength, perhaps testimony to her days

as a champion javelin thrower and shot

putter, Dottin made a blistering 26 from 12

balls with two massive sixes, one of which

went into the stands, and two boundaries.

She added 38 runs for the fifth wicket with

Talyor, who was dropped twice by Gunn

who eventually did catch her at deep cover

as the West Indies went after quick runs.

Wicketkeeper/batter Shemaine Campbelle

who got into this match due to Aguilleira’s

illness, made a quick-fire 11 from 6 balls to

give momentum to the end of the home

side’s innings. The English bowlers maintained

a tight line and length for the most part and

restricted the West Indies to 118 for the lost

of 7 wickets at the end of their 20 overs.

Opening bowlers Beth Langston and Kate

Cross playing their first match for England,

bowled stingily and made the West Indies’

batters fight hard for their runs.

Langston took one wicket for 16 runs

from her 4 overs. Cross was just as mean

bowling four overs for 19 runs with one

wicket. Gunn took two wickets with her

medium pace swing and slow, left-arm

orthodox spin bowler Holly Colvin had one

wicket for 9 runs.

England began their quest for victory at

a rapid rate as openers Danielle Wyatt and

Laura Winfield posted 25 in 4.3 overs.

Wyatt was the first to go caught on

the leg-side by Anisa Mohammed off the

bowling of fast bowler Tremayne Smartt for

13. Mohammed then took a wicket with the

second ball of her first over. The off-spinner

had Winfield caught for 13 as she played

through the onside, England were 42 for 2.

England were 50 for 2 at the end of ten

overs. Shortly afterwards Mohammed claimed

another victim when she had Sarah Taylor

caught by wicket-keeper Campbelle for 15,

the score was 53 for 3. Campbelle kept

wicket excellently.

Tamsin Beaumont and Lydia Greenway

took charge of the White Ferns’ innings and

placed them on what seemed to be victory

road with a controlled partnership of 35.

England were 88 for 3 and the several English

visitors in the Three Ws stand were cheering

on their team loudly while the hundreds of

Barbadian supporters were rather muted.

At that stage the drama began to unfold.

Taylor bowled the 16th over and trapped

Beaumont lbw for 10; the score was 88 for

4. England now required 31 runs to win the

match with six wickets remaining.

Kensington Oval is often referred to as

the mecca of cricket in the Caribbean but it

was suddenly transformed into a theatrical

stage with a dramatic production that totally

captivated its audience.

Dottin was given the ball but bowled a

poor 17th over which was struck for 11

runs. When that over ended 19 runs were

required from 18 balls.

Greenway was then run-out for 36

with the score on 101 in the 18th over

and England’s batting had started to

stumble. Shaquana Quintyne, the 17-year-old

leg-spinner and darling of the West Indies

team, bowled a tight and mean penultimate

over, conceding only six runs.

England needed 9 runs from the last over

to win the match and captain Taylor took

the responsibility of bowling those six balls.

The lady with the golden arm then took the

wickets of Natalie Sciver and Gunn. With

four runs required for victory off the last ball

of the match Danielle Hazell edged to third

man and she and Holly Colvin ran three runs

as if their lives were at stake and managed to

even the scores and take the game into

the superover.

Wyatt and Sciver faced the super over

which was bowled by Quintyne but England

could only muster six runs. Wyatt was run

out for 1 and Sciver and Greenway finished

on 4 and 1 respectively.

Dottin and Stacy Ann King faced the super

over for the West Indies which was bowled

by Gunn.

Dottin, as probably expected by every

Barbadian supporter in the stands and the

thousands of West Indians watching on their

screens, promptly struck two boundaries off

the two balls she faced, one of which was a

no-ball, to secure victory before the cheering

home crowd and her team-mates who

mobbed her as she left the ground. Taylor

was Player Of The Match for her 3 for 15

and 40.

The match served as an ideal appetizer

for tomorrow’s final and if that is anything as

exciting as last night’s, then cricket fans are in

for a real threat.

Thriller! Deandra Dottin goes for

another boundary.

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