Dunedin: The West Indies edged past defending champions England by seven runs in a thrilling league-stage encounter of the ICC women’s World Cup here on Wednesday, leaving the tournament favourites in a spot of bother.

Batting first, the West Indies women, despite an impressive opening stand of 81 between veterans Deandra Dottin (31 off 64 balls) and Hayley Matthews (45 off 58 balls), managed a mediocre 225 for 6 in 50 overs after opting to bat in their second league match.

Keeper-batter Shemaine Campbell (66 off 80 balls) and Chedan Nation (49 off 74 balls) were the stars of the show as they added 123 runs for the fifth wicket to steer the team.

In reply, England nearly pulled through, courtesy a 61-run stand between Sophie Ecclestone (33 no) and Kate Cross (27) for the ninth wicket before being all-out for 218 in 47.4 overs. This was the West Indies’ women’s first ever World Cup win over England.

“It’s a nice feeling. Nerve-wracking for me though. When we checked the stats at this ground, we found that we were about 10 under par. We knew we had to bowl well and field well,” West Indies captain Stefanie Taylor said in the post-match presentation.

West Indies have now won both their games and are placed second on points table while England, with back-to-back defeats, including the opening round game against Australia, are placed sixth among eight teams.

“They batted outstandingly at the start and came hard at us. We came back well with the ball, but just struggled to break that partnership (Campbelle-Nation). Also gave a few too many in the last few overs. Obviously there is frustration,” said England skipper Heather Knight.

“Happy with the attacking intent shown from our batters but we need to be more clinical in execution at crunch times,” she added.

It was a steady start by the Caribbean women as Dottin and Matthews safely negotiated the first 20 overs before a collapse saw them slump to 81 for three from 81 for no loss and subsequently 98 for 4 just after the halfway stage (26.1 overs).

Campbell, who won ‘Player of the Match’ award, struck four boundaries while Nation had three to her credit.

“There was some pressure when I went out to bat, we had lost some quick wickets and I tried to build a partnership. I gave myself a chance and played every ball on its merit. I knew as long as I stuck in there, the runs would come,” Campbell said after the match.

Despite Carisbrook Park being known for aiding seamers, it was slow left-arm orthodox Ecclestone (3/20 in 10 overs), who was brilliant throughout the middle overs, not letting the Windies batters get away.

When England batted, their innings never had the momentum as they were 72 for four at one stage and then 156 for 8 at the end of the 36th over before Ecclestone and Cross nearly carried them home with their highly effective partnership.

It came down to the last three overs and it looked like the duo were going to get the job done as England required just nine runs for victory and still had two wickets in hand.

But Cross was run out at the non-striker’s end when backing up too far and Anya Shrubsole was bowled by spinner Anisa Mohammed (2/24) three balls later to set off jubilant celebrations for the triumphant West Indies side.

Pacer Shamilia Connell (3/38) was the most successful Windies bowler among the eight used by skipper Stephanie Taylor.

Brief Scores:

West Indies: 225/6 in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbell 66, Chedan Nation 49, Sophie Ecclestone 3/20) beat England 218 all out in 47.4 overs (Sophie Ecclestone 33 no, Anisa Mohammed 2/24, Shamilia Connell 3/38) by 7 runs.

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