The last day of the Group stage of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 threw up an engrossing first game at the Daren Sammy International Stadium, as the Windies beat England by four wickets in the last over of a thrilling chase. The home side enthralled the 6000-plus people with a humdinger of a win to top Group A and set up a clash with Australia in the semi-finals.
The second game of the day was less exciting, as South Africa beat Bangladesh by 30 runs despite their batting suffering from yet another collapse. The Windies topped Group A with eight points while England finished second with five. South Africa (four), Sri Lanka (three) and Bangladesh (zero) finished in that order. In the semi-finals on 22 November, England will play India after the home team plays Australia at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
The large crowd that came out on Sunday afternoon got its money’s worth, as a frenetic ending to the game saw the Windies negate a fine recovery from England. Fielding first after winning the toss, Windies opening bowler Shakera Selman picked up two early wickets. A mid-innings collapse then reduced England to 50 for six before Sophia Dunkley (35) and Anya Shrubsole (29) put on a 58-run partnership.
The pair was only separated in the penultimate over, helping England to 115 for eight. And it seemed it would be enough when Shrubsole picked up two wickets in her first over, sending back Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor, both bowled. Then Deandra Dottin and Shemaine Campbelle combined for a 68-run partnership.
Dottin (46) was dismissed with the Windies still needing 45, but some bold hitting from Campbelle kept them in the hunt. Needing 26 off the last 18 balls. Campbelle was dropped twice in the penultimate over, but helped the Windies get close enough; they hit the five runs that remained in the last over, much to the delight of the crowd.
Windies’ Deandra Dottin, who was Player of the Match, said: “To be honest, it wasn’t any pressure (to be opening the batting in this tournament). I know what kind of player I am. I can go hard. I can go medium. I can knock it around. It all depends on the situation. But knowing that you have a six overs powerplay, you would like to capitalize.”
In the other game, Marizanne Kapp top scored for South Africa with 25, but four other batters failed to convert starts into big scores as two batting collapses kept the Proteas to 109 for nine in their twenty overs after being asked to bat. From being 48 for one in the Powerplay, and 60 for one soon after, they slid to 67 for four.
Chloe Tryon and Mignon du Preez then added 26 runs, before another more critical collapse. Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun took three wickets -the third giving her her 50th wicket in the format- to precipitate a slide of 5 for 14, and South Africa finished with another below par total, 109 for 9.
Bangladesh could have escaped qualification for 2020 if they had beaten South Africa with a big enough margin to also pip Sri Lanka on net run-rate, but made no attempt to go down that path. Their Powerplay score was just 13 for one, and the first boundary came only in the 8th over. South Africa contained the Bangladesh batters without being very threatening, and the innings petered out to 79 for five.
South Africa captain Dane van Neikerk said: “I miss opening. But we had chats with the selectors and stuff and they gave me the reasons why I’m going down the order. And it’s okay. But I do miss it. I love playing with Lizelle. I think we complement each other really well.”
Brief Scores: England: 115/8 (Sophia Dunkley 35, Anya Shrubsole 29; Shakera Selman 2-15, Deandra Dottin 2-21); Windies: 117/6 (Deandra Dottin 46, Shemaine Campbelle 45; Anya Shrubsole 3-10)
South Africa: 109/9 (Marizanne Kapp 25; Salma Khatun 3-20, Khadija Tul Kubra 2-18); Bangladesh: 79/5 (Rumana Ahmed 34 not out)