All-rounder Nat Sciver believes West Indies’ indifferent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign makes them a dangerous prospect for England to face in Sydney.
Sciver’s side know a win at the Showground would almost certainly put them into the semi-finals, marking a significant comeback since their opening defeat to South Africa in Perth.
But the Sciver feels a tough test is in store when they face the 2016 champions, despite Stafanie Taylor’s side failing to hit their straps Down Under – edging out Thailand before losing to Pakistan.
England themselves have been far from perfect, particularly with openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt struggling for form, prompting Sciver to rein in expectations of a comfortable victory.
“I think the pressure of these two games has brought the best out in us,” she said. “We’ve had two pretty clinical performances and put things right that we didn’t do well against South Africa.
“You don’t know what you’ll get from West Indies on the day. The two games they’ve had probably makes them more dangerous. We’ll have to be on our game.
“It’s a tight turnaround, I’m not sure how much training we’ll be doing. We’ll have a review meeting so we know what we need to know about their batters and bowlers ahead of the game.
“It’s hard when batters have a run when they don’t get as many runs as they want to, really. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and keep going for the shots that are your strengths.
“I thought Danni did that well against Pakistan and tried to get a few away. She got some luck, which is helpful when you’re feeling a bit out of form. I’m hoping that between now and Sunday she can rethink or just take her mind off it.”
Building partnerships the key for Windies
For West Indies, meanwhile, there’s no room for anything less than clinical cricket. Women’s T20 World Cup champions just four years ago, expectation follows Taylor’s charges at every turn but they have flattered to deceive with two far-from-perfect performances to date.
Victories over both England and South Africa are likely required if they are to reach the last four, but belief is still evident for a team that knows they have plenty more to offer. “It’s about putting partnerships together, believing in themselves and being able to handle the situation as it comes,” said coach Gus Logie.
“Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin – these are the people you expect to do well. The captain has been getting scores, but we just haven’t got big scores to put pressure on the opposition.
“It’s do-or-die. The players know that if you win you can go through, but lose and you go home. The onus is upon everyone to dig deeper and produce the performances which they know they can. They have done well against England and South Africa in past World Cups, they know they can beat them.
“There’s nothing in the stars that say we can’t make the semi-finals so we have to believe we can. The approach will have to be positive and that’s what we’re looking at.”
- The Windies hold a slight edge over England when it comes to head-to-head encounters in T20I cricket, winning eight times (includes a Super Over victory) to England’s six; both of these sides have already qualified for the semi-finals in Antigua.
- The Windies have won two of their three ICC Women’s World T20 encounters with England; that loss did come in the most recent meeting, England claiming a dramatic one-wicket victory with the final ball of the innings.
- England come into this game enjoying a five-game winning run in completed T20I matches; they had suffered defeats in four of their five matches immediately beforehand.
- Taylor has taken the most wickets (16) in T20I matches between the Windies and England; only Charlotte Edwards (347) has posted more runs in this fixture than Taylor (317).
- Sciver is in line to register her 50th T20I knock with the bat; she was out in the middle as England pulled off their final ball victory over the Windies in the 2016 ICC Women’s World T20.