England eliminated after costly collapse
West Indies women 122 for 8 (Nero 32, Marsh 3-17) beat England women 120 for 9 (Taylor 33) by two runs
England's women, the World Twenty20 defending champions, have been eliminated from this year's tournament at the first hurdle, after a calamitous batting collapse wrecked their progress in a must-win contest against the hosts, West Indies, in Basseterre. West Indies have won two in two, and sealed their place in the semi-final.
England came into the match knowing that victory was essential, after they lost a gripping opening contest against Australia on a sixes countback. But, chasing 123 for victory following a disciplined bowling performance spearheaded by Laura Marsh, England toppled from 65 for 0 after nine overs to 66 for 4 after 10.2, and though they rallied against the odds through Lydia Greenway, they eventually came up two runs short.
Greenway finished unbeaten on 26 from 26 balls, and took the match into the wire by striking one of only two England sixes in the innings. But in a frantic final over, Nicky Shaw was stumped off Stafanie Taylor for 5, before Katherine Brunt was run out off the last ball of the game. The two-run margin was the heaviest defeat of England's campaign, but with Australia and West Indies both sitting pretty on two wins apiece, their final fixture against South Africa on Sunday will be a dead rubber.
It could have been so different, as England's openers, Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards seemed utterly unruffled as they eased along to a run-a-ball stand of 65. But from consecutive deliveries in the offspinner Anisa Mohammad's first over, first Edwards then Taylor holed out to Cordel Jack. One over later, Deandra Dottin repeated the dose, to bowl Beth Morgan for 1 before trapping Jenny Gunn lbw for a first-ball duck.
Dottin hit the headlines earlier this week when he pasted South Africa for a 38-ball century, the fastest by any cricketer in Twenty20 international history. But on this occasion, she lasted just one delivery, as she was caught by Gunn off Anya Shrubsole. In her absence, the momentum of West Indies' innings was provided by Stacey-Ann King and Britney Cooper, who made 17 from 11 balls and 20 from 14 respectively, to build on the efforts of Juliana Nero (32 from 36 balls).