Disappointing Windies end World Cup on losing note

BRISTOL, England, CMC – West Indies Women squandered the ideal opportunity to end their disappointing ICC World Cup campaign on a high when they crashed to a 92-run defeat to hosts England Women in their final match here yesterday.

The Caribbean unit, led by the exceptional leg-spinner Afy Fletcher, managed to restrict England to 220 for seven off 50 overs at the Gloucestershire County Ground but their batsmen let them down badly and they collapsed to 128 for nine, slumping to their fifth defeat in seven matches.

Opting to bowl, the Windies spinners did the job on a slow, turning pitch, and only captain Heather Knight with a top score of 67 and Tammy Beaumont, 42, managed to show enterprise.

Laura Marsh, batting at number nine, chipped in with a valuable unbeaten 31 while veteran Jenny Gunn scored 24 not out.

Fletcher was excellent, taking three for 33 from her 10 overs while off-spinner Anisa Mohammed also proved stingy, conceding just 32 runs from her 10 overs. In their turn at the crease, West Indies got 29 from teenaged opener Hayley Matthews and 23 from Chedean Nation, but no other player passed 20 in yet another concerning display with the bat.

Seamer Natalie Sciver took three for three from four overs but it was left-arm spinner Alex Hartley, with one or 25 from her 10 and off-spinner Laura Marsh, with one for 25 from 10 overs, who put the squeeze on the innings.

West Indies ended the tournament sixth on four points from their last two victories over Pakistan Women and Sri Lanka Women, with all three teams along with fifth placed New Zealand Women suffering elimination.

England ended top of the standings on 12 points, reigning champions Australia Women finished second also on 12 points but with an inferior net run rate, while India Women were third on 10 and South Africa Women fourth on nine. Already eliminated after losing their opening four games, West Indies entered their contest playing for pride but once again let themselves down with ordinary cricket – especially over the second half of the game.

Beaumont put on 47 off 56 deliveries for the first wicket with Lauren Winfield who made 11 before picking out Matthews on the mid-wicket boundary with rookie left-arm seamer Akeira Peters.

In the next over, Sarah Taylor edged a sharp catch to Matthews at slip off medium pacer Deandra Dottin, to depart without scoring at 54 for two in the 11th over.

Knight, who faced 88 balls and struck five fours, then put on 37 for the third wicket with Beaumont who faced 71 deliveries and counted six fours. But once Beaumont scooped a full toss from Fletcher to the wicketkeeper in the 22nd over, three wickets fell for 14 runs to leave England stumbling on 105 for five in the 26th over.

Knight then shepherded the innings, putting on 36 for the sixth wicket with Katherine Brunt (14) and 31 for the seventh with Gunn, before Gunn and Marsh added 48 off 39 balls at the end to provide a final thrust.

In reply, West Indies got a slow start and once they started losing wickets steadily, the innings fell apart.

Matthews added 34 for the first wicket with Kycia Knight who made 17 before she was run out in a mix-up over a non-existent single in the 10th over.

Three overs later, captain Stafanie Taylor chose not to review a questionable lbw decision and perished without scoring. Replays showed the ball clearly missing.

Stumbling at 37 for two, Matthews steadied the innings in a 27-run stand with Nation. The 19-year-old faced 64 balls and struck a four and a six while Nation hit a single boundary off 57 deliveries.

But Matthews was hit in front to Hartley and lbw in the 24th over and Deandra Dottin (7) missed a sweep at off-spinner Heather Knight and was also lbw 20 balls later at 73 for four in the 27th over.

Nation pulled a Sciver long hop to be brilliantly caught in the deep by Beaumont and once veteran Merissa Aguilleira played across  straight one and was lbw for eight at 90 for six in the 32nd over, the result was a foregone conclusion.

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