By Krissania Young
On Wednesday afternoon, West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor, became just the second female cricketer to make 3000 T20 International runs. The West Indies, though, went on to suffer a second successive 47-run defeat, in the space of three days, going two nil down in their five-match T20 International series against England Women in Derby.
The ladies of the Caribbean did, however, show improvements from game 1, certainly in the bowling department. Still, there are four things we’d like to see from the team during the rest of the series:
Intent in the powerplay:
WINDIES’ ‘big three’, of Matthews, Dottin and Captain Taylor, at the top of the innings, is the formula that brought them so much success in their triumphant 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup campaign. Now, while the West Indies have reverted to this set-up at the top of the order, with the fit-again Dottin back in the team, there has been a disconcerting lack of intent in the powerplay from the West Indies. The first six overs in the two matches have seen the visitors scoring thirty-one runs less than the hosts while soaking up 17% more dot deliveries.
A shift in the batting line-up:
It became rather vivid that the lack of strike-rotation which plagues the West Indies men is also rearing its head in the women’s team. This creates a strong argument for Shemaine Campbelle, the batter most likely to manoeuvre the gaps in this West Indies team, moving at least one place up the order. Lee-Ann Kirby at number four currently bats ahead of Campbelle, who has duties behind the stumps. However, with Campbelle being more of a touch player, and Kirby being what we’d describe as a big-hitter, it might be a worthy investment to switch the two.
Henry or Alleyne:
The West Indies might also consider an addition to their batting line-up in the current set-up. As it stands, there are four batters and then we are into the wicket-keeper and bowling all-rounders, which leads to an either-or dilemma where Chinelle Henry and Aaliyah Alleyne are concerned. In the first two games of the series, the duo did not bowl in tandem. Instead, Alleyne was given the ball in the first T20I and Henry in the second. Yet, the West Indies comfortably fulfilled their 20-over obligations on both occasions. If the West Indies should choose to lengthen the batting, one would think they would have to sacrifice one of the two. And although Alleyne is definitely one for the future, Henry is currently the more skillful bowler. A switch-up of Alleyne for Natasha McLean immediately makes this team a stronger batting unit.
Lower order taking responsibility:
Sooner, rather than later, Britney Cooper and company must come to the party. The West Indies have scored 220 runs in the series so far. Of which 65% have come from the bats of Taylor and Dottin. Bypassing the middle-order for now, the West Indies’ lower-order, beginning with Henry at number six, has added just 25 runs over the course of the two games. This, compared to England’s lower-order chipping in with 75 runs. It cannot be a case that after the third wicket falls, where there is the possibility of Matthews, Dottin and Taylor going back to the pavilion, that all hope leaves with them.
That being said, we all knew, prior to the start of the series, that this team had a way to go before they started filling the Caribbean with confidence one again. And being two-nil down to the number two ranked English team does not change that fact. What will rectify our position in the rankings and will improve our competitiveness as a team, is game time and strong opposition, both of which are being provided in this series.
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