Danni Wyatt fired an unbeaten half-century and Lauren Bell took three wickets as England eased to an eight-wicket victory over the West Indies in their T20 series opener in Antigua.
Bell took 3-26 as England limited the West Indies to 105-7 from their 20 overs, having won the toss and elected to field, before easing to their victory target at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium with 44 balls to spare.
Sophia Dunkley and Lauren Winfield-Hill were run out for 25 and 15 respectively, while Wyatt top-scored with 59 not out to help see England home and put them 1-0 up in the five-match T20 series.
“Lauren Bell and Katherine Brunt really set the tone there with the ball,” Wyatt said. “The girl’s bowled exceptionally well under the lights, we spoke about playing with intent, being brave and entertaining and that’s what we did with the bat as well.”
How England thrashed the West Indies
England, looking to follow on from their ODI series sweep, made an early breakthrough in the second over when Bell bowled opener Aaliyah Alleyne for two to claim her first T20 international wicket.
Bell then caught Kycia Knight off Natalie Sciver for a two-ball duck before captain Hayley Matthews was bowled by Katherine Brunt as she attempted a reverse sweep over the stumps, leaving the West Indies at 19-3.
Djenaba Joseph – making her senior team debut after promotion from the under-19s squad – was stumped by Amy Jones and Rashada Williams’ rapid knock of 23 from 26 balls was ended when she was run out by Wyatt.
Bell claimed another wicket with her next delivery as Shemaine Campbelle (10) was caught by Winfield-Hill, reducing the hosts to 60-6 in the 13th over, before Shabika Gajnabi (13) became Bell’s third victim when she was caught by Sciver.
Chinelle Henry’s quickfire unbeaten 21 and eight from Afy Fletcher helped West Indies reach 105 at the change of innings, while England raced to 40 inside the opening five overs of their reply before Dunkley was removed by a Campbelle run-out.
Winfield-Hill put on 45 with Wyatt for the second-wicket until she was also run out with the tourists on 89, although England continued to bat positively and comfortably reached their victory total in the 13th over.
What’s next for England?
The remaining four matches of the T20 series all take place at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, with the next fixture taking place on Wednesday. The other three matches are held on Saturday, Sunday and December 22.
“We’re really excited to get to Barbados!” Wyatt added. “Obviously we’ve loved our time here in Antigua, being on the same pitch for all four games made it a little difficult to bat on out there but we found a way.”