Lauren Bell sets tone for resounding England win
Danni Wyatt reels in easy target with 59* after Bell's 3 for 26 restricts West Indies
England 106 for 2 (Wyatt 59*) beat West Indies 105 for 7 (Williams 23, Bell 3-26) by eight wickets
Lauren Bell followed her star turn in England's successful ODI campaign with a three-wicket haul as West Indies' batting struggles carried over into a heavy defeat in their first T20I and Danni Wyatt reeled in an easy target with an unbeaten half-century.
Bell, who took a crucial 4 for 33 as England thumped West Indies in their second ODI on Tuesday, was rested for the third match, another resounding win as the tourists swept the series 3-0. But she returned for just the third T20I of her career and ended with 3 for 26 from her four overs to help contain West Indies to just 105 for 7.
West Indies were thumped by more than 100 runs in each of their 50-over matches, bowled out in all three with a highest total of 165. After slumping to 19 for 3 inside the first five overs in Antigua on Sunday, they never recovered and Wyatt was positively brutal in taking England to victory by eight wickets in just 12.4 overs.
Bell backs up
England could scarcely have hoped for a better start. Bell had a hand in the first two dismissals, bowling Aaliyah Alleyne for her maiden T20I wicket with her fifth ball, the 11th of the match after Katherine Brunt had opened the bowling in her first international since the Commonwealth Games bronze-medal playoff in early August. Bell then held on when Kycia Knight chipped Nat Sciver straight to mid on in the next over.
Hayley Matthews tried to ramp Brunt and lost her off stump and, despite a couple of chances going begging, England continued to keep West Indies under immense pressure. Heather Knight had Under-19s batter and debutant Djenaba Joseph stumped by Amy Jones to make it 38 for 4 after eight overs. Rashada Williams, West Indies' top-scorer in the ODIs, steered Bell to backward point and set off for a run, foolishly challenging Wyatt's arm as she threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end. Next ball, Shemaine Campbell scooped Bell straight down Lauren Winfield-Hill's throat at mid-on and the hosts were in disarray.
Run-outs the only way for WI
Sophia Dunkley continued the opening partnership she forged with Wyatt after Tammy Beaumont was dropped from the T20I side during the English summer and, while she managed just three runs off the first nine balls she faced, four boundaries off Chinelle Henry in the third over had her cruising. That was until a messy run out after she skied Cherry-Ann Fraser to midwicket and ran halfway down the pitch before turning back and, despite wicketkeeper Kycia Knight fumbling the throw-in, Campbelle managed to gather running in from the slips cordon and fired onto the stumps as Dunkley dived in vain.
Winfield-Hill, playing her first T20I since February 2020 after losing her ODI spot early this year and her ECB central contract for the coming season, was put down on nought by Matthews diving full-stretch to her right at slip. Having come in at No. 3 with teenage allrounder Alice Capsey back home after breaking her collarbone in the first ODI, Winfield-Hill managed a run-a-ball 15 before she was removed by Cambelle, throwing in from backward point for another run out, West Indies' only mode of dismissal as their bowlers went wicketless.
Wyatt seals win
Despite those hiccups, Wyatt had England in complete command. From 51 for 1 after the powerplay, including her six off Matthews in the third over, she swung Fraser through the midwicket region for back-to-back fours to move into the 30s. Wyatt brought up a 29-ball fifty with a six off Karishma Ramharack and she sent Shabika Gajnabi over extra cover to the rope to draw within three runs of victory.
Fittingly, Wyatt hit the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 59 off 34 balls with a strike rate of 173.52. It followed her half-century in the opening match of the one-day series and rounded off a successful stay for the visitors in Antigua. The tour now moves to Barbados for the remaining four T20Is from Wednesday.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo