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Deandra Dottin claimed two wickets with the ball, held onto a fabulous catch and then clobbered 46 in the run chase to ensure the host nation won their fourth game out of four, much to the delight of a boisterous audience at the Daren Sammy Stadium
St Lucia: England 115-8, West Indies 117-6 - West Indies won by six wickets
Deandra Dottin’s brilliant all-round performance helped West Indies see off England to top Group A at the Women’s World T20.
Dottin claimed two wickets with the ball, held onto a fabulous catch and then clobbered 46 in the run chase to ensure the host nation won their fourth game out of four, much to the delight of a boisterous audience at the Daren Sammy Stadium.
The 27-year-old Bajan’s emphatic display, combined with an excellent 45 under pressure at the death from Shemaine Campbelle, means the Windies will take on pre-tournament favourites Australia in the last four.
For England, a total of 115 for eight proved to be under-par but it could have been much worse.
Tammy Beaumont on the sweep. Top: Deandra Dottin (all images © ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2018)
Had it not been for Sophia Dunkley (35) and Anya Shrubsole (29), who shared in a seventh-wicket stand worth 58 to rescue their side from 50 for six, this could have been a massively demoralising defeat prior to their semi-final against India.
West Indies gave extra reason for the raucous home crowd to be on their feet within five deliveries, as Chinelle Henry took a fine catch above her head at mid-off to dismiss Danni Wyatt, after the England opener had charged at Shakera Selman.
Tammy Beaumont received a life on 12 when she was spilled by wicketkeeper Kycia Knight after sending the ball high into the St Lucia sky off Shamilia Connell but England lost a second wicket the very next delivery when Amy Jones sent a spiralling catch into the hands of Stafanie Taylor at mid-off.
England struggled through to 32 for two from the powerplay - the worst return from the first six overs of a T20I in 2018 - and lost Nat Sciver soon afterwards, the allrounder chasing a wide one from Selman and nicking through to Knight.
Beaumont ploughed on until the 10th over but she was trapped lbw by Afy Fletcher, Heather Knight walked across her stumps to the very next ball, bowled by Dottin, to suffer the same fate, and Lauren Winfield was run out attempting a wildly optimistic single to Britney Cooper at extra cover.
West Indies finished top of Group A
Fifty for six, England were not waving but drowning.
Dunkley threw in a rubber ring in the form of her punchy, tenacious 35 on her first trip to the wicket in international cricket, sharing in a partnership of 57 with Shrubsole and seeing her side at least towards respectability.
The Surrey Stars allrounder perished trying to find the straight boundary, picking out Henry off the bowling of Dottin, but with Shrubsole ending with her best ever T20I score (29), England did at least have something to defend.
Shrubsole took her form with the bat into her bowling performance, striking with her first delivery to remove Hayley Matthews and with her fourth to get rid of Taylor, both bowled.
West Indies could have crumbled but in the shape of Dottin they have a batter capable of pummeling her team back into a game.
Here, she was ruthless when England strayed onto a leg stump line, clattering the cow corner boundary on enough occasions to cover for a raft of dot balls.
By the time she was caught in the deep off Kirstie Gordon, she had taken her side to a position of control.
With her partner gone, Campbelle let loose her restraints. England had their late chances - one passed through the grasp of substitute fielder Fran Wilson at long-on, another over the head of a scrambling Dunkley at mid-off - but the Windies batter made the most of her lives and took her team to the cusp of victory.
Ultimately Campbelle was not there in the end, having picked out Wyatt in the deep off Shrubsole, but there was still time and wickets in hand.