|First Twenty20, Incora County Ground, Derby|
|England 163-8 (20 overs):Beaumont 62, Knight 25, Selman 3-26|
|West Indies 116-6 (20 overs):Dottin 69, Ecclestone 2-19, Sciver 2-16|
|England win by 47 runs; lead series 1-0|
Tammy Beaumont’s eye-catching half-century helped England to a 47-run win and a 1-0 series lead over West Indies in their first international since March.
Beaumont struck 62 from 49 balls as England, despite a late-innings wobble, posted 163-8, with Windies pace bowler Shakera Selman taking a fine 3-26.
West Indies limped through their response, with Deandra Dottin’s 69 the only score of note as the tourists struggled to keep up with the rate and England impressed in the field.
They finished their 20 overs on 116-6, with left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone taking 2-19 as England cruised to victory.
This was the first women’s match involving an International Cricket Council full member since the T20 World Cup final in March.
Then, 86,00 people crammed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Here, the cricket took place in a bio-secure bubble behind closed doors in Derby.
Despite the obvious differences, this was a solid performance from England and, in parts, West Indies.
The second game of the five-match series takes place on Wednesday at 18:00 BST.
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Beaumont blossoms as opener
England started well, led by Beaumont and Danni Wyatt, who went at the ball hard in the opening overs.
Their 29-run stand – England’s highest opening partnership in nine T20 matches this year – came to an end in bizarre fashion, when no-one realised Wyatt had been bowled by a Stafanie Taylor scuttler.
Beaumont, often shifted up and down the batting order, looked assured, particularly in her 52-run stand with captain Heather Knight. Her half-century came from 41 balls and she celebrated by striking England’s sole six, a glorious shot down the ground off Aaliyah Alleyne.
At 113-2, England were well set, but West Indies clawed their way back into it. Regular wickets, coupled with some loose shots, slowed England down.
After Beaumont fell, caught at short third man, Katherine Brunt was stumped to her first delivery, the well-set Amy Jones slashed the ball to deep extra cover and Sarah Glenn was also stumped by the excellent Shemaine Campbelle.
Despite a shaky end, Beaumont and Jones’ performances are positive signs for an England batting line-up that has, in the past, been too reliant on Knight and Nat Sciver.
Beaumont in particular never settled during the T20 World Cup, but she looked assured at the top of the order here.
Windies crawl towards defeat
This West Indies side bore little resemblance to the one that stormed to the World T20 title in 2016.
Dottin was the only player to reach double figures but her final score flattered to deceive. Her 59-ball innings contained far too many dot balls and the big hits, such as the 88m six that went out of the ground, were few and far between.
The next highest score for West Indies was Campbelle, who made nine. The wicket of Lee-Ann Kirby – run out in farcical fashion as she was stranded mid-pitch trying to reach the striker’s end – summed up the innings.
When Dottin fell with 10 balls remaining, an innings that was already stuttering well and truly closed down. The tourists will need a much better batting performance if they are to challenge England in this series.
Praise for Beaumont – what they said
England captain Heather Knight:“I’m really pleased, delighted to be back and thought it was a really good performance. We ideally would have got a few more, but we were outstanding with the ball.
“Tammy was great – and got us off to an amazing start. She’d done it in the warm-up games, so really pleased she did well. We’re looking to win the series, but to keep improving all the time.”
West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor:“It’s not one of our best [performances]. We didn’t adapt well to the pitch. Tammy batted really well and set the game up nicely for them.”
England spinner Alex Hartley on Test Match Special:“We all know the potential Tammy Beaumont has got and she’s gone out there today and proved her class.”
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