England Women thrash West Indies by 142 runs in opening ODI

England defeated West Indies by 143 runs in the inaugural one-day international in Antigua. Nat Sciver’s 90 from 96 balls helped England reach 307-7 after batting. 

England fell to 127-4 until Sciver and Danni Wyatt, who hit 68, rescued the tourists with a 102-run combination. 

West Indies fell to 165 all out in 9.3 overs as spinner Charlie Dean grabbed 4-35. 

After the Commonwealth Games in August, Sciver returned to the team and England won their first game under Jon Lewis. 

The West Indies pursuit was stopped when Hayley Matthews was pulled off with cramp on eight. 

Kycia Knight and Rashada Williams led the hosts to 84-1 before Dean’s spell prompted a spectacular collapse, with Matthews returning to bat but only managing to score 34. 

Alice Capsey tumbled awkwardly on her left shoulder while trying to preserve a boundary, raising injury concerns for England. 

The 18-year-old left the field for medical treatment and did not return. 

Tuesday sees the second ODI at the same site. 

England opened frenetically with the bat, maybe expected given they had not played since the defeat to India at the end of September. 

England struggled without Sciver, Heather Knight, and Katherine Brunt in that series, and while the rising talent showed potential, it proved the team needed to avoid relying on the experienced players. 

Capsey, who replaced Emma Lamb as opener, smashed three boundaries before edging a wayward shot behind off Cherry-Ann Fraser. 

Sophia Dunkley was wonderfully taken at deep cover by Shakera Selman, Tammy Beaumont started before holing out to mid-off for 33, and skipper Knight battled, as expected after being sidelined since June. 

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After her sabbatical from cricket, Sciver batted with confidence and controlled aggressiveness to capitalise on West Indies fielding errors. 

Even her dismissal showed her aim, as a miscued ramp shot over her shoulder fell to a short fine leg. 

Wyatt, the aggressor in their fifth-wicket partnership, kept the West Indies bowlers under duress with a strike-rate of above 100. 

While Sciver’s comeback and Wyatt’s success are significant positives for England, it is crucial their young hitters step up at some stage throughout the series, particularly ahead of February’s T20 World Cup.

England’s shaky start with the bat and fielding errors led to an easy win. 

West Indies are suffering after all-rounder Deandra Dottin retired and skipper Stafanie Taylor was injured. The series opener showed how much they depend on Matthews with bat and ball. 

The most economical of the bowlers and the most fluent with the bat, many would have been dreading the worst when she was on the floor in discomfort barely four overs into their chase. 

Chenelle Henry’s 3-59 and Knight and Williams’ 30s showed potential, but they must improve to rival England. 

For Knight’s side, though, runs from Sciver and Wyatt feel somewhat predictable, such is their constancy. However, Kate Cross continued to lead the assault with 2-27 from eight overs, and Dean out-bowled Sophie Ecclestone. 

After a poor conclusion to the summer, England were expecting for a response in Antigua – and they gave one.

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