Dominant England crush Windies
England women restricted West Indies to their lowest Twenty20 score before completing a comprehensive eight-wicket victory in the first match of the NatWest International T20 series at the Emirates Durham ICG.
The tourists won the toss and elected to bat, a decision they would instantly come to regret as new-ball duo Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole made hay in conditions conducive to swing bowling.
A trio of lbw dismissals reduced the top order to rubble inside two overs and when England’s spinners came into the attack they refused to release the stranglehold - Holly Colvin starring with a miserly return of 5-2 from four overs as West Indies limped to 71 for eight from their allocation.
Laura Marsh operated well in tandem with Colvin and then made sure her slow-bowling counterparts among the opposition would have no such joy, launching a brutal assault at the top of the England innings.
Marsh peppered the ropes five times to reach 31 before chancing her arm once too often to be stumped by Merissa Aguilleira off Anisa Mohammed.
The job was all but done by that point following an opening stand of 59 with captain Charlotte Edwards.
Sarah Taylor lobbed a gentle catch to Britney Cooper, getting Shemaine Campbelle among the wickets, but Edwards was unbeaten on 27 at the end as England reached their paltry target with 10.2 overs to spare.
West Indies were never able to recover from England’s rampant start in the field, where Brunt’s out-swing and Shrubsole’s in-swing combined to devastating effect.
Juliana Nero departed without scoring to the second ball of the match, rapped on the pad after attempting an ill-advised heave across the line.
Opening partner Kycia Knight also failed to trouble the scorers as Brunt concluded her first set of six by shaping one back in to the left-hander.
Not to be outdone, Shrubsole accounted for the dangerous Deandra Dottin with some big in-swing to leave West Indies seven for three after 10 balls.
Captain Aguilleira began a rebuilding job of sorts alongside Campbelle and helped herself to fours on either side of the wicket as Brunt and Shrubsole strayed in overs five and six.
Such shots seemed a distant memory when Colvin and off-spinner Marsh entered the attack, and the former bowled Campbelle round her legs for a 29-ball 11 as the innings neared halfway.
West Indies were now being fed a steady diet of dot balls and, in attempting to break the shackles, Aguilleira lofted Marsh to mid-off to depart for 21.
A direct hit from Edwards found Cooper well short of her ground at the start of the 15th over and when Colvin had Stacy-Ann King stumped next ball the score was 48 for seven.
Danni Wyatt completed the damage when Shanel Daley was caught by Tammy Beaumont off a leading edge and, although Tremayne Smartt and Mohammed finished unbeaten on 14 and eight respectively, West Indies were a good distance short of a total to prevent England extending their unbeaten run in the shortest form to 18 matches.
Marsh was later named player of the match and wants England to carry their impressive form into the second game of the five-match rubber.
"We’re really pleased with our performance today, the opening bowlers bowled brilliantly and the spinners backed them up," she said.
"We followed up well with the bat to get the job done in the 10th over. We’re all looking forward to carrying this momentum forwards to Old Trafford on Monday.”