Another day, another comprehensive victory!
Australia secured the T20I-leg of their tour to the West Indies, winning the second match by nine wickets at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown on Monday (September 16) with a game still to play.
The second match, which got delayed by an hour due to rain, saw skipper Meg Lanning win her first toss of the tour.
With no reduction in overs, Australia kept West Indies openers Britney Cooper and Kyshona Knight under check before Cooper found her range, collecting a string of boundaries before spanking Ellyse Perry for the first six of the match over mid-wicket.
Delissa Kimmince then got the breakthrough – a strike that began the unfortunate and disastrous collapse of the hosts’ line-up – with West Indies having managed to collect 30 runs in 5.3 overs. This was the best opening partnership for West Indies in the entire series (including ODIs).
In an attempt to go big in the final over of the power play, Knight ended up giving a simple catch to Georgia Wareham at cover. West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor joined Cooper but her stay at the crease was short-lived as she mistimed the ball and was caught by Beth Mooney at mid-on, leaving the onus on Cooper.
The right-handed opener had moved on to 39 runs off 33 balls and was looking set for more. However, her innings came to an unfortunate end – Ashleigh Gardner, in her very first over of the day, managed to get to get a touch on a solid straight drive from Stacy-Ann King as the ball crashed into the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Cooper was caught short of her crease whilst backing up.
Then began the rapid fall for the hosts.
Natasha McLean and Reniece Boyce boosted Australia’s confidence as they departed in quick succession without disturbing the scoreboard. King, too, followed her teammates back to the dug out cheaply as Gardner trapped her in front.
The lower-order tried to take their side to a respectable total but kept losing wickets with Chinelle Henry holding one end and remaining unbeaten on 21 off 25 balls. For Australia, Jess Jonassen was the pick of the bowlers as she finished with two wickets and conceded just 19 runs in her four overs.
In reply, aggressive Alyssa Healy’s immediately took the attack to the hosts. The wicketkeeper-batter hit three consecutive boundaries off Shamilia Connell to kick-start the run-chase. On the last ball of the first over, Healy got a life-line as she top edged an attempted pull but Sheneta Grimmond at mid-on did not go for the catch.
Henry injured her left knee in the fourth over as she fell in her followthrough. The West Indian was attended by the physio but she failed to stand up and was stretchered off the field – adding to the long list of injuries for the hosts.
After resumption, Afy Fletcher got the much-needed breakthrough and broke the 44-run opening stand. Beth Mooney, who was playing second fiddle to Healy, tried to go for a big slog over mid-wicket but top edged the ball straight up in the air for McLean to complete a fairly comfortable catch.
Healy found support in Lanning and the duo carried on in typically clinical fashion. Along the way Healy completed her ninth T20I half-century off 33 balls.
West Indies’ poor day on the field was rounded off by a couple of dropped chances, that too off successive balls. King was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions. First, Taylor failed to cling on to a heave by Healy towards mid-wicket despite a dive. Next ball, Lanning’s cut shot was grassed by Knight at backward point.
The duo’s unbeaten 54-run partnership was enough to seal the series for Australia. While Healy finished unbeaten on 58, Lanning was unconquered on 22.
Brief scores: West Indies 97/9 in 20 overs (Britney Cooper 39, Chinelle Henry 21*; Jess Jonassen 2-19) lost to Australia 98/1 in 14.3 overs (Alyssa Healy 58*, Meg Lanning 22*) by nine wickets. PoM: Alyssa Healy.