Sciver shines on BBC as England wrap up series win

Sportsbeat
·3-min read

Nat Sciver put on a show as England wrapped up a series victory against West Indies in their first match on the BBC since 1993, writes Paul Martin.

The 28-year-old moved through the gears expertly in her scintillating 82 from 61 deliveries to help England recover from a tricky start and set up a 20-run triumph, with Sarah Glenn and Katherine Brunt picking up two wickets apiece in reply.

Deandra Dottin continued her fine form with a hard-hitting 63 but again lacked support from her teammates as West Indies slipped 3-0 behind in the five-match series.

“We said at the start of the day we wanted to be ruthless so we are really pleased,” said Sciver.

“In the first two games I was a little bit caught up in going too big too early. We’ve been joking that I’ve been waiting for the BBC cameras before playing my best! It’s brilliant to get the win.

“Being on mainstream TV doesn’t come around too often. We were talking about the number of people that watched the men’s games on BBC, it’s massive and hopefully we’ve inspired a few people to pick up the bat and ball.”

England batted first in Derby but lost both openers to Shamilia Connell in the third over, with Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt failing to cash in on early let-offs.

Captain Heather Knight joined Sciver to begin the rebuilding job and ensured there was no further damage within the powerplay, which ended with England on 33-2.

Knight (29) was caught behind two balls after being dropped at short third-man, and Amy Jones was then bowled to leave the hosts on 83-4 after 12 overs.

Sciver passed her half-century with her fifth boundary and stepped on the accelerator to progress to a career best in international t20 cricket, taking 17 from the penultimate over including the innings’ first six.

She fell to Dottin yorker having dominated a fifth-wicket stand of 66 with Fran Wilson, the third England player to benefit from a dropped catch, as the hosts finished on 154-6 having added 38 in the final three overs.

Dottin stayed at the top of a new-look order and immediately put England under pressure, striking four early boundaries as the visitors raced to 28-0 after three overs.

She soon lost her new opening partner Lee-Ann Kirby, neatly stumped by Jones down the leg side to hand Sciver a wicket with her fourth delivery, but Hayley Matthews helped Dottin add 48 for the third wicket.

The pair were prised apart when Matthews was trapped in front by Glenn and the spinner then thought she had the prize scalp of Dottin.

But a review revealed that Mady Villiers hadn’t quite got everything underneath her attempted low catch down the ground shortly after the opener had been put down by Sciver.

It was a case of third-time lucky for England when they eventually dismissed Dottin, with Wilson making no mistake to provide Brunt with her second wicket.

The match also took place as part of #WomensCricketMonth, celebrating the recreational cricket that has been ongoing even in the midst of COVID, and to re-affirm the ECB’s strong commitment to the women's and girls' game.

“When we play, we want to keep our standards high, no matter who we’re playing, and make sure we’re practising to facing the best in the world,” added Sciver.

“It was important to us to make sure we did the right things and got over the line – as a bowling unit, we were under pressure a bit more, which was good.

“They changed things around so it was good for us to have that test.”