An unbeaten 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket between veteran all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt and captain Heather Knight helped England defeat the West Indies by seven wickets in an ICC Women's T20 World Cup Group B match in Paarl on Saturday. (More Cricket News)
The two England stalwarts took advantage of the below-par West Indies total of 135/7 to launch a concerted effort when they came together at the crease, finishing the match in the 15th over, with Sciver-Brunt scoring an unbeaten 40 and Knight remaining not out at 32.
While West Indies were not really off to a poor start after electing to bat, their batting floundered in the middle overs with no one able to give them the push in the death overs.
Skipper Hayley Matthews scored a quick-fire 42 (32 balls) at the top of the order, while Shemaine Campbelle made a laboured 34 as West Indies moved to a modest 69 for 2 at the start of the 11th over.
But just when the team wanted someone to give the scoreboard a boost after Matthews departed following a Sophie Ecclestone delivery thumping the West Indies opener's knee roll, there was no worthwhile partnership to guide the Caribbeans to a competitive total.
Sophie emerged the most successful bowler for England, taking three wickets for 23 runs in her four overs.
England were off to a confident start with opener Sophia Dunkley smashing an 18-ball 34 studded with four boundaries and a six, as she made her intentions clear. Though Danny Wyatt (11) and Alice Capsey (13) went cheaply, there was never a doubt about their supremacy.
Sciver-Brunt and Knight capitalised on a far-from-impressive West Indies bowling attack, putting it to the sword and smashing boundaries at will.
Sciver-Brunt smashed six boundaries and a maximum while her captain took just 22 deliveries on her way to an unbeaten 32, studded with four boundaries and a six.
West Indies Women: 135 for 7 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 42, Shemaine Campbelle 34; Sophie Ecclestone 3/23) lost to England Women 138 for 3 in 14.3 overs (Sophia Dunkley 34, Nat Sciver-Brunt 40 not out, Heather Knight 32 not out) by seven wickets.