Taylor proves a class above
England Women 150 for 3 (Taylor 53, Brindle 42*) beat West Indies Women 122 for 6 by 28 runs
England continued their impressive preparations for the World Twenty20 with a 28-run victory against West Indies at Old Trafford - their 19th unbeaten game in a row - having been lifted to a demanding total by a high class innings from Sarah Taylor who made 53 off 37 balls.
It was a fantastic innings by Taylor, who struck seven boundaries, and she judged when to increase the tempo perfectly after West Indies' spinners had made scoring hard work following a brisk opening stand between Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh.
""We got off to a great start today," Taylor said. "I was really pleased to find the boundary early and then ran hard with Arran later on. It was another good team performance with everyone contributing and two outstanding catches from Anya and Susie; we pride ourselves on our fielding. We aim to put a marker out in every single game and we'll be looking to do that in the remaining three matches of this series."
Taylor's first boundary was an inside-out drive through cover when she used her feet to the slow left-arm of Shanel Daley who had removed England's openers. She then later broke a sequence of 27 deliveries without a boundary with back-to-back fours off Shemaine Campbelle. The placement of the shots was what stood out, threading the ball past fielders with precision and Taylor was soon expanding her repertoire further with a scoop over short fine-leg. The men playing afterwards would have to go quite some to match the innings.
The main stand of the innings came between Taylor and Arran Brindle as the pair added 78 in 10 overs for the third wicket. Brindle was the quieter partner as Taylor dominated the scoring but used her pace between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking and pressurise some poor West Indies fielding.
However, after Taylor's departure West Indies did well to deny England any boundaries in the final four overs of the innings although a total of 150 was always going to be a tough ask for a side held to 71 for 8 in the previous match. While one Taylor shines, it is the absence of another - Stafanie - that is making life tough for the visitors.
At least the openers, who had both been dismissed for opening-over ducks at Chester-le-Street, gave the innings some foundation with a stand of 35 and were not far from matching England's pace. The home side were given plenty of chances to make the first breakthrough, spurning three run-out opportunities, one of which cost five runs, before Taylor again showed her prowess comes with gloves as well as bat with a swift stumping to remove Juliana Nero. That gave Danni Wyatt a wicket with her fourth ball and Wyatt struck again in her next over when Tremayne Smartt picked out long-on.
West Indies never threatened to get close to the target, although it was far better performance than the first T20, as England's bowlers chipped away and the highlights of the remainder of the match were a couple of stunning catches. The first was at mid-off by Anya Shrubsole, diving horizontally at mid-off, to remove the dangerous Deandra Dottin as Brindle began with a maiden in the 12th over. Then, in the closing stages of the innings, Susie Rowe avoided a collision as she ran backwards from midwicket. On this evidence, England remain a class above.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo