Amy Ellen Jones’ wonderful run with the bat continued as she muscled yet another delightful half century against the visiting West Indies on Thursday in Chelmsford. Winning the toss and rightly electing to field first in a rain curtailed match, West Indies restricted England to 258-4 in 39 overs. The opening pair of Amy Ellen Jones (80) and Tammy Beaumont (46) stitched a solid partnership of 84 in 15.1 overs before Hayley Matthews got rid of Beaumont against the run of play. Wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor played a gem of an innings as she smashed a 61-ball 70 that included seven boundaries. Coming lower down the order skipper Heather Knight showed her class yet again as she bludgeoned West Indies’ bowlers with a 19-ball 40 smashing five boundaries and two sixes. Hayley Matthews picked up 2-52 in her eight overs, with Afy Fletcher and Karishma Ramharack stricking with one wicket apiece.
The first innings was interrupted by rain and the DLS target for the visitors was set at 267 in 39 overs. After losing the first two games, West Indies would have hoped for a rain-free day, however, the British summer seems to show no respite. Chasing more than run a ball target was always going to be difficult and the West Indies opening pair did no good as they were sent back to the dressing room inside six overs. Kycia Knight (38) showed some intent but was running out of partners. English bowlers did a good job to skittle out the visitors for 131 in 37.4 overs, short of 135 runs. Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone scalped two apiece, with Bryony Smith, Jenny Gunn, and Heather Knight accounting for one dismissal each.
For her standout performance with the bat, Amy Ellen Jones was presented with the Player of the Match award. Having clean swept the ODI series 3-0, England will now take on West Indies for a three-match T20 series. The first T20 will be played in Northampton on Tuesday.
Juili Ballal (Cricket Journalist)
(Juili is a women’s cricketer who has represented Mumbai team, she is also an IIT’ian)