|Third women’s one-day international, The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford:|
|England 258-4 (39 overs): Jones 80, Taylor 70, Matthews 2-52|
|West Indies 131-9 (all out) (37.4 overs): Kycia Knight 38, Cross 2-16, Ecclestone 2-27|
|England win by 135 runs (DLS method), win series 3-0|
England completed a 3-0 series whitewash over West Indies with a 135-run victory in a rain-affected final match of their one-day international series at Chelmsford.
Amy Jones hit 80 and Sarah Taylor 70 as England posted 258-4 in 39 overs.
Kate Cross took 2-16 as West Indies – chasing a revised 267 – made 131-9.
The win earned them two points in the International Cricket Council’s Women’s Championship and virtually guarantees a place in the 2021 World Cup.
After scoring only 13 in three innings in India and 27 in the opening two games of the series, Taylor’s position at three was starting to come under pressure.
As she walked to the crease, former captain Charlotte Edwards said on BBC Test Match Special that England would be “desperate” for their wicketkeeper to get among the runs.
Any questions about Taylor’s place in the batting order were answered with a beautifully made 70 off 61 balls. It comes at the right time for her and England before the upcoming Women’s Ashes series.
Sweeps behind square on both sides of the wicket were a prominent factor throughout her knock, as was hard running between the wickets.
After Taylor fell, Heather Knight (40 off 19 balls) took control of the innings. The captain came in slightly later than usual as a result of Danni Wyatt being promoted and showed an ability to be a finisher for England with two massive sixes.
Earlier, player of the series Jones – who turned 26 on Thursday – hit six fours and a six on the way to the highest innings in a women’s ODI by anyone celebrating their birthday.
England’s depth shines through
Having wrapped up the series on Sunday, England took the opportunity to rotate their team and rest key all-rounders Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver.
Surrey’s Bryony Smith came in for her ODI debut, playing more as a spinner despite predominately opening the batting and being a part-time bowler for her county. The 21-year-old did not concede a single boundary in her eight overs and figures of 1-20 represented an excellent return.
The two other changes saw Fran Wilson – who took a breathtaking catch to dismiss Hayley Matthews, who had just hit a six – and Jenny Gunn (1-34) come into the side and perform admirably, and Knight reiterated England’s desire for players to be knocking on the door for selection.
Cross has had another excellent series, taking 5-32 from 15 overs across the three games, and is set to play a prominent role as England’s third seamer behind Brunt and Anya Shrubsole in the Ashes.
West Indies once again looked well below par, and their lack of depth with key all-rounder Deandra Dottin out injured was once again exposed with captain Stafanie Taylor unable to bat after injuring her hand in the field.
‘We’ve been clinical’ – what they said
England captain Heather Knight: “I think that was probably our best performance. We’ve been clinical and ruthless, different people have stepped up, and we just want to keep it going. Bryony Smith bowled brilliantly and I was really pleased with the all-round squad performance. There might be a couple of changes for the T20s, but generally we’ll stay consistent.”
On Fran Wilson’s catch: “That’s ridiculous. It has to go up as one of the best catches I’ve ever seen live. I can’t wait to see the highlights.”
West Indies vice-captain Hayley Matthews: “We have had a pretty disappointing series. What is important for us is looking at where we’ve improved from the first game to today. I think if you really look at our bowling it has really improved throughout the series.
“The weather hasn’t helped. It’s never good playing cricket when there’s rain around and DLS coming into effect, but we can’t use that as an excuse.”
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards on Test Match Special: “The more I watch England the more I think they’ll do well in the Ashes. I like the balance of their side, players are getting into form. The more I think about it the more confident I get.”