Natalie Sciver’s 82 helps England seal the series against West Indies with two games to spare

England's Natalie Sciver hits one out of the park against West Indies. © Getty Images

Natalie Sciver’s heroics with the bat and Sarah Glenn and Katherine Brunt’s two-fers with the ball meant that England yet again downed West Indies to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match T20I series on Saturday (September 26) at the Derby County Ground.

She came, she hit, she smashed!

England lost their openers on either sides of Sciver’s arrival to the middle. Tammy Beaumont was out for one and four balls later, Danielle Wyatt, having survived a dropped chance earlier, walked back for 11. Shamilia Connell picked up both the wickets to fall.

With Sciver having single digit scores in the first two T20Is, West Indies sensed an opening. Connell, high on confidence of the couple of wickets, bowled tight and received support from Chinelle Henry as England ended the power play at two for 33. Sciver and Heather Knight, however, began to go on the offensive with special focus on running hard between the wickets.

The pair added 59 for the third wicket before Knight was dismissed by Stafanie Taylor for 29. An over later, Amy Jones also walked back, handing Hayley Matthews her 50th T20I wicket to leave the hosts at four for 83 in the 12th over. That’s when Sciver upped the ante.

The allrounder got her eye in, smashed Sheneta Grimmond, who came in for Aaliyah Alleyne, for a four through long on to get to her half century in 40 balls. She was severe on Taylor, whom she hit two fours and a six in the penultimate over. She eventually fell to Deandra Dottin for 82 in the final over. It was the first time she was bowling since February 2019 and finished with a couple of wickets.

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The tourists’ death bowling left a lot to be desired, leaking 53 off the last over – including 28 off the last two – to help England end on six for 154.

Chasing yet another tall score, West Indies changed their batting order, separating the big three of Dottin, Matthews and Taylor. Lee-Ann Kirby, who walked out to open along with Dottin fell for three, while Shemaine Campbelle, who was promoted, also couldn’t make use of the opportunity as she departed for five.

But Dottin, who scored 69 in the opening encounter, kept going steadily from one end. She added 48 with Matthews (21) for the third wicket and raised hopes of an unlikely West Indies win. She then completed her 12th T20I fifty but fell for a 56-ball 63 in an attempt to score quickly.

That perhaps was the last nail in their coffin as even Taylor’s (14 not out) presence towards the end couldn’t give the visitors their first win in the series.

Glenn continued her merry run with the ball, returning two for 18, while Brunt also chipped in with two wickets.

Brief Scores: England 154/6 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 82, Heather Knight 29; Shamilia Connell 2/13, Deandra Dottin 2/29) beat West Indies in 134/5 in 20 overs (Deandra Dottin 63, Hayley Matthews 21; Sarah Glenn 2/18, Katherine Brunt 2/29) by 20 runs.