Reigning champions England face an uphill task to qualify for the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup after West Indies handed them their second defeat in their first two matches with a seven-run victory in Dunedin on Tuesday.
England’s last two batters were dismissed in the 48th over just as it looked like they would reach their victory target of 226 and West Indies celebrated again after stunning hosts New Zealand in last week’s tournament opener.
It was a first victory for West Indies against England at the World Cup and put them second behind favourites Australia in the standings for the round-robin stage, from which the top four teams will progress to the semi-finals.
After they had lost three top-order batters in one Sophie Ecclestone (3-20) over, West Indies had Shemaine Campbelle (66) and Chedean Nation (45 not out) to thank for a fourth-wicket stand of 123 which helped them to a total of 225-6.
The islanders used eight bowlers to keep England at bay after a screamer of a one-handed catch from Deandra Dottin off the bowling of Shamilia Connell (3-38) had removed Lauren Winfield-Hill for 12 to give them their first breakthrough.
The England tail-enders, rallied by Ecclestone’s 33 not out, still looked like they would get the job done, however.
New Zealand had thought the same heading into the final over needing six runs last Friday only for Dottin to dismiss their last three batters.
This time it was spinner Anisa Mohammed who made the key intervention in the 48th over, running out Kate Cross for 27 and three balls later bowling Anya Shrubsole for a duck to leave England 218 all out.
“It is not something I like,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said of the dramatic finishes. “It was a bit nerve-racking for me but I’m really happy that we turned out on the right side.”
England, who lost their opening game to Australia by 12 runs, will have little respite over the next 11 days with the second-ranked South Africans, fourth-ranked India and hosts New Zealand their next three opponents. Skipper Heather Knight said she was not overly concerned.
“We’ve lost two close games ... not too much concern, obviously a bit of frustration,” she said. “We’ve got to be better and come back really up for that game against South Africa in Mount Maunganui.”