The Women’s World T20 found its four semi-finalists on Friday as West Indies and England booked their spots, joining Australia and India.
In two one-sided games of different tempo, both teams registered wins at a venue that finally lived up to its high-scoring reputation.
The pitch at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium seemed hard and dry after a few days of sunshine, and that helped the Windies banish their batting blues.
After the defending champions won the toss and batted first, Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin put up a belligerent 94-run opening stand in 9.4 overs to set up a mammoth total of 187 for five.
Matthews scored the second-fastest fifty of this tournament, reaching the mark off just 25 balls.
Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor contributed with 49 and 41 respectively, with Taylor striking 22 off the last eight balls she faced to ensure that her team’s strong start was not wasted. Together, the Windies top-three scored 152 runs from the team’s total.
It was the third-highest total in the history of the Women’s World T20, and had more than 5000 home-fans dancing through much of the innings.
Only captain Chamari Athapaththu (44) provided any resistance for Sri Lanka, as Matthews capped off her day by becoming the first woman to take three wicket and score a half century in an Women’s World T20 match.
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 104 in 17.4 overs, handing the Windies a massive 83-run win.
Scores in brief:
Windies187-5, 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 62, Deandra Dottin 49, Stafanie Taylor 41)
Sri Lanka: 104 all out in 17.4 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 44; Hayley Matthews 3-16)
England make easy work of Proteas women
In a game that saw only the second ever hat-trick in Women’s World T20s, England made short work of an insipid South Africa to take a step closer to the semi-finals, a position that was confirmed when the Windies beat Sri Lanka later in the night.
Anya Shrubsole took a hat-trick at the end of the first innings, but Natalie Sciver was more impressive with the ball at the start, as South Africa’s batting collapsed for the second consecutive game.
Chasing just 86, England’s openers brought up their fifty partnership off 43 balls, with Danielle Wyatt crossing the 1000-run milestone in T20I cricket on the way.
Wickets fell against the run of play as they neared the South Africa total, but they eventually secured a resounding seven-wicket win.
Earlier, South Africa were guilty of playing too slow in the first half of the innings for the second game in a row, as they took 28 balls to get the team score into double figures.
Big-hitting opener Lizelle Lee took 26 balls for her 12 runs, and the resulting pressure on the middle-order meant wickets fell regularly.
Chloe Tryon then built two partnerships to give South Africa hope of getting to a hundred.
But she was dismissed for 27 in the 18th over, the first scalp in a double-wicket maiden from Sciver, who finished on 3 for four from four overs.
South Africa folded for 85 in 19.3 overs, Anya Shrubsole claiming a hat-trick to clean up the last three wickets.
Scores in brief:
South Africa: 85 all out, 19.3 overs (Chloe Tryon 27; Natalie Sciver 3-4, Anya Shrubsole 3-11, Kirstie Gordon 2-18)
England: 87-3 in 14.1 overs (Danielle Wyatt 27, Tamsin Beaumont 24; Dane van Neikerk 2-13)
The 34-year-old moved to the brink of his personal milestone on Sunday evening.
The 34-year-old is on 499 Test wickets.
Willey had been involved throughout the four-year build-up to last year’s World Cup but was left out in favour of Jofra Archer.
Penultimate day of match against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford is washed out.
Surrey and Middlesex meet again and the Bears take on Northamptonshire in the new first-class competition.
The hosts need eight more wickets.
Reece Topley also recalled four years after his last appearance.
England host Ireland on Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl.
The seamer reduced the Windies to 10 for two at stumps on Sunday evening.
Vince is expected to be included when England name their ODI squad to face Ireland on Monday.