The early loss Kycia Knight off the fifth ball of the match would have probably given the Windies skipper Merissa Aguilleira reason to doubt the decision to bat first.
But she stood by the call even as the England women celebrated an easy seven wicket win on the back of fast bowler Kate Cross’ four wickets, which was backed up by Sarah Taylor unbeaten 55 with the bat.
The West Indies’ total of 126 all out off 38.1 over on Friday afternoon in the day/night fixture at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, was never enough to challenge the English who were on cruise control for most of the chase as they tallied 127 for three off just 33.3 overs.
According to Cross, who was named Player-of-the-Match, everything fell into place for the visitors.
Of her performance in the game Cross said: “It is a good feeling to go 1-0 up. I was really pleased with how I bowled early on and I was a bit despondent with how I came back, I felt a little bit inconsistent and little bit tired but obviously I can’t take away from the four wickets so I am really pleased with that.
“I was really pleased with the way I got them especially those that were caught behind the wicket. That is what we have been planning and that is how we have been coming at the West Indies so it is good to see our plans are actually taking effect,” she added.
“We know how dangerous she (Stafanie Taylor) can be when she gets going so it was really pleasing to get her early and Natalie (Sciver) got Deandra Dottin early as well. She is a big game changer as well, so that was a big part of the game for us,” the England fast bowler added.
Cross got the first breakthrough, removing Knight with her fifth ball in ODI cricket and kept the Windies on the back foot when she sent back June Ogle in the fifth over with the score on 13.
Cross followed up with the big wicket of Taylor, who was the Player-of-the-Series for the home team in their three-match ODI series against New Zealand last month.
She was caught behind by wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor for six as the Windies slipped to 14 for three in the seventh over.
A 39-run stand between Shemaine Campbelle (19) Deandra Dottin (19) revived the innings but only briefly.
They kept the England bowlers at bay for the next nine overs before the wickets started to tumble again.
Campbelle triggered the second slide, sweeping left-arm orthodox bowler Holly Colvin straight to Charlotte Edwards at short backward square with the score on 53.
Dottin was caught behind off medium pacer Natalie Sciver on the same score while Aguilleira was bowled by Cross for eight as the home team slipped further back.
Shaquana Quintyne slammed 42 off 50 balls with three fours to boost the score but the English bowlers kept the other batsmen quiet.
Sarah Taylor anchored the England chase, hitting five fours in her 74-ball knock to seal the win. She and Lauren Winfield (31 off 58 balls) shared a 64-run second wicket stand which put England in full control.
But the West Indies played their part, failing to put pressure on the England batsmen with a couple of dropped chances and bits of mis-fielding.
Speaking about her team’s first loss to England on their tour to the Caribbean, the Windies skipper said it was just a bad day for her team.
“In the beginning I think we did not get a good score on the board. Quintyne came in and she really did well and held together the innings for us to give us a reasonable total but after all, I think we batted pretty badly and it was definitely an off day for us.
“We definitely have to come back stronger on Sunday (today) and try to get a good innings and a win. Even in the fielding (on Friday) we were a bit loose, lackadaisical and complacent...
“We need to remain focused no matter what the circumstances and we went out there with our game plan but everything did not go according to plan. But these things happen and it is all about how you bounce back and I believe in my players and I believe we have the ability to do so.
The final ODI of the three-match series bowls off at 2 p.m. today at the Oval. The first match of the series was washed out on Monday at the same venue.
WOMEN’S ODI SCOREBOARD
West Indies vs England
West Indies Inns
K Knight c Edwards b Cross 0
J Ogle c Sciver b Cross 6
S Taylor c Taylor b Cross 8
S Campbelle c Edwards b Colvin 19
D Dottin c Taylor b Sciver 19
M Aguilleira b Cross 8
S Daley c Winfield b Sciver 1
S Quintyne c&b Colvin 42
A Mohammed b Gunn 1
T Smartt b Sciver 13
S Munroe not out 4
Extras: (NB1, W4) 5
TOTAL (all out; 38.1 overs) 126
Wickets at: 0 (Knight), 13 (Ogle), 14 (Taylor), 53 (Campbelle), 53 (Dottin), 56 (Daley), 81 (Aguilleira), 86 (Mohammed), 118 (Quintyne), 126 (Smartt)
BOWLING: Cross 10-1-51-4 (2w); Gunn 8-1-19-1; Colvin 10-6-7-2; Hazell 4-0-27-0 (1nb); Sciver 5.1-1-19-3 (2w); Wyatt 1-0-3-0
England Inns (Target: 127 off 50 overs)
C Edwards lbw Munroe 6
L Winfield c Daley b Smartt 31
S Taylor not out 55
L Greenway c&b Taylor 20
T Beaumont not out 9
Extras (w6) 6
TOTAL (for three wkts; 33.3 overs) 127
Did not bat: Colvin, Cross, Gunn, Hazell, Sciver, Wyatt,
Wickets at: 12 (Edwards), 76 (Winfield), 112 (Greenway)
BOWLING: Smartt 8-2-17-1 (1w); Munroe 6-0-20-1 (3w); Daley 6-1-22-0; Mohammed 4-0-25-0; Quintyne 2.3-0-14-0; Dottin 2-0-9-0; Taylor 5-0-20-1 (2w)
Toss: West Indies
Result: England won by seven wkts
Player of the Match: Kate Cross (England)
Umpire: N Duguid and D Ramdhanie