Afternoon everyone and welcome to my sofa for the second T20 in England’s series of five against West Indies. This morning, as our Indian summer suddenly gave way to autumn, the match was looking like a total wash-out, but now the Met Office has relented and decided that Derby has only a 10% chance of rain for each hour of the evening. Duckworth/Lewis may play a part and the captain who wins the toss will therefore be tempted to bowl first, even though electing to bat worked a treat for Heather Knight on Monday.
England were far too good then, from Tammy Beaumont’s opening salvo, via carefree cameos from Knight and Amy Jones, through to incisive spells from Nat Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone and Katherine Brunt making up for a flop with the bat by being a right old Jimmy with the ball (4-1-8-0). For West Indies, there was just too much rust, which showed up in chances missed, batters who only reached double figures in the balls column, and one comedy moment when they did their best to conjure two run-outs off the same delivery. But at least they had Deandra Dottin, who showed why she holds the record for the fastest women’s T20i hundred by smashing 69 off 59 balls, while her team-mates could manage only 30 off 61. She hit two sixes, which was one more than the whole England team. I can’t wait to see her when she’s not feeling her way back from a shoulder injury.
Tonight West Indies need to stay in the game, as David Lloyd likes to say, and then see if they can scrape a win. England can just take up where they left off on Monday, though they’ll be looking to make a better fist of finishing their innings. After Beaumont fell, Jones got becalmed and only 27 were added off the last four overs, rather than their usual 40.
The game that matters most in this series will be the third, and not because it might seal victory for England. It’s going to be on BBC2, the first women’s international to be shown live on terrestrial TV in this country since the 1993 World Cup final, a whole generation ago. What a crying shame that is – but here’s our chance to do something about it. If you have a young daughter or granddaughter, sister or niece, do sit down with her on Saturday afternoon, from 1pm, and give her the chance to be intrigued. Got to see it to be it, as my daughter keeps telling me when we’re watching the IPL. (Did you catch Jofra hitting four sixes off two balls?)
But first there’s tonight’s game, which starts at 6pm BST, all being well. I’ll be back about 5.35 with the toss and teams.