West Indies fac­ing up­hill bat­tle if Dot­tin again lacks as­sis­tance

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Is­abelle West­bury

Sec­ond T20I

Com­ing back from two sets down in a five-set match is the kind of feat that made Roger Fed­erer the house­hold name that he is. West Indies, should they lose tonight, in the sec­ond match of this five­match T20I se­ries against Eng­land, will need to pro­duce some­thing sim­i­lar.

Find­ing their Fed­erer, how­ever, may not be enough. In their 47-run loss to Eng­land on Mon­day, West Indies pro­duced the game’s top scorer as De­an­dra Dot­tin re­turned to form with 69 off 59 balls. But no one else from West Indies reached dou­ble fig­ures.

“Some­body has to bat with her,” Eng­land in­ter­na­tional and BBC com­men­ta­tor Alex Hart­ley said. “We haven’t seen Hay­ley Matthews get a score since that hun­dred against Ire­land, which was more than 10 in­nings ago. She’s al­ways [opened the] bat­ting and that’s the prob­lem, once you have had one good score, ev­ery­one just re­mem­bers that.”

Matthews, whose name is hardly men­tioned with­out her match-win­ning half-cen­tury in the World T20 fi­nal in 2016 fea­tur­ing along­side it, has never scored more than 10 runs against Eng­land. “She is good enough,” says Hart­ley. “She’s just got to find her role. With the top three there is so much pres­sure on them.”

That top three, of Matthews, Dot­tin and cap­tain Stafanie Tay­lor, are the only West Indies play­ers to have en­tered the se­ries av­er­ag­ing 20 or more. Eng­land, by con­trast, have seven.

“It’s cer­tainly an op­tion, to change the bat­ting line-up,” says Hart­ley. “If Tay­lor comes in at five or six, you in­stantly have more depth in their bat­ting line-up.”

The rate of scor­ing is also a con­cern. In the past 10 com­pleted in­nings, West Indies have not sur­passed 140 runs and in Mon­day’s match ended their 20 overs on 116, but only six wick­ets down. Still, with a con­fi­dent Dot­tin, the hope re­mains that this se­ries will not be a re­peat of last year’s white­wash.

Scor­ing heav­ily in the first six overs has been a core tar­get of this Eng­land side, too. “[That in­nings] was a very long, long way away about four months ago,” said Eng­land opener Tammy Beau­mont, who made 62 from 49. “When I got back to cricket, I got bowled by an un­der­arm in my first ses­sion.

“Lisa [Keight­ley, Eng­land’s head coach] has asked us to try and go harder at the top of the or­der. It’s some­thing we haven’t re­ally nailed in the past cou­ple of years.

“Ob­vi­ously, Danni Wy­att’s been bril­liant there for a num­ber of years, but it’s a case of [me] do­ing the right thing for the team. I was quite ner­vous go­ing into [Mon­day’s] match.”

Eng­land’s pow­er­play yielded 49 runs to West Indies’ 26. One goal, it ap­pears, to tick off the list.

Threat: De­an­dra Dot­tin’s 69 was not enough to pre­vent de­feat

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