Berliner TageBlatt - West Indies stun holders England by seven runs in World Cup thriller

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West Indies stun holders England by seven runs in World Cup thriller
West Indies stun holders England by seven runs in World Cup thriller / Foto: © AFP

West Indies stun holders England by seven runs in World Cup thriller

Defending champions England slumped to a second loss at the Women's Cricket World Cup on Wednesday as underdogs the West Indies continued their sparkling start to the tournament.

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The West Indies, who stunned hosts New Zealand in the tournament opener, defeated England by seven runs in a thriller at Dunedin's University Oval.

England's tail-enders made a valiant effort to reel in the West Indies' 226-run target but fell just short, leaving their title defence on the edge.

"They batted outstandingly at us on a good wicket and played some brilliant shots," England captain Heather Knight said.

"We felt like we were in a good position but I guess the last 10 overs cost us."

Four-time champions England, who lost to Australia in their opening match, face an uphill struggle to make the top four of the eight-team tournament and defend their 2017 title.

The West Indies made a brisk start after winning the toss and opting to bat, racing to 81 without loss before throwing away three wickets in a single over.

Spinner Sophie Ecclestone sparked the mini-collapse when she dismissed Hayley Matthews for 45, then Deandra Dottin was run out, before Ecclestone struck again with the next ball.

Ecclestone subdued the West Indies' batters through the middle of the innings before Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation staged a late charge.

Their 123-run partnership gave the West Indies a competitive total but England would have been dominant had they not dropped a slew of chances as the catching woes that marred the recent series against Australia returned.

There were no catching issues for West Indies allrounder Dottin, who dismissed England opener Lauren Winfield-Hill for 12 with a spectacular diving effort.

Nat Scriver, a century maker in England's first-match loss against Australia, departed for two, leaving Tammy Beaumont to try to rebuild the innings with 46 from 76 balls.

Her departure left England on 94 for five but Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt upped the tempo and scored 38 and 33 respectively to keep English hopes alive.

At 156 for eight, it then fell to tailenders Ecclestone and Kate Cross to chase the final 70 runs.

They came close, scoring 33 not out and 27 respectively , but Cross's dismissal ended hopes of a miracle finish.

K.Brown--BTB