|England 157-6 (20 overs): Dunkley 44, Knight 43, Alleyne 1-12|
|West Indies 140-8 (20 overs): Williams 38, Matthews 35, Dean 4-19|
|England won by 17 runs|
England secured a Twenty20 series win over West Indies with a 17-run win in Barbados.
Sophia Dunkley’s 44 and Heather Knight’s 43 helped England post 157-6 batting first.
West Indies’ batters put in an improved performance after a poor series, but Charlie Dean took 4-19 to restrict them to 140-8 from their 20 overs.
The result gives England an unassailable 3-0 lead with two games remaining.
England’s first-innings total was the highest of the series so far, and was always going to be a big ask of the West Indies, whose highest ever T20 chase is 151.
But the hosts started their chase brightly, reaching 55-1 after the opening powerplay before a double-wicket maiden from Dean, that included the prize wicket of Hayley Matthews for 35, changed the course of the game.
Rashada Williams took the attack to England with 38 from 29 balls but fell lbw to Sophie Ecclestone in the penultimate over which dampened any hopes of a West Indies upset.
England have won every game of the tour so far, having also clinched a 3-0 one-day international whitewash. The series continues on Sunday at 22:00 GMT at the same venue.
Dunkley and Knight set up England win
Despite batting with a new opening partner in Lauren Winfield-Hill, with Danni Wyatt resting, Dunkley was unfazed and again crucial in setting up England’s first-innings total.
So far in the series, the opener has scores of 25 from 21 balls, 43 at a run a ball and her innings in the third T20 came at a strike-rate of 141.
The half-centuries may be eluding her but Dunkley has established herself as a reliable T20 opener at the perfect time for England, with a World Cup just over two months away.
Smashing three consecutive boundaries from the second over of the innings set the tone for Dunkley’s knock, and it took a piece of brilliance from Shemaine Campbelle with a direct hit run-out to end her stay at the crease.
With 102 runs already on the board after 13 overs when Dunkley departed, it allowed Knight the freedom to play with equal aggression and freedom.
The skipper started her innings with a reverse-sweep for four and the intent continued, favouring the leg side as she struck five fours and a six before she holed out to deep square leg in the penultimate over.
There was potential for a middle-order wobble when Dunkley and Amy Jones fell in the 14th over, Jones chipping Shenata Grimmond straight to mid-on, but Knight’s positivity ensured West Indies could not make the most of the opportunity to dominate.
Dean shines amid West Indies improvement
Despite the defeat, it was comfortably West Indies’ best batting performance of the tour so far.
Matthews has had a frustrating series with the bat, showing glimpses of her dazzling class but struggling to kick on to the big scores her team requires.
Her 35 from 31 balls contained six fours, including a lofted cover drive that could be a contender for the shot of the year, but her dismissal to Dean in the eighth over squandered a promising position.
But while the middle order buckled under the pressure earlier in the series, Williams and 19-year-old debutant Trishan Holder, stood firm.
Williams, 25, scored the hosts’ only half-century of the series in the second one-day international and has been their standout player of the tour with her aggressive intent, while Holder made a run-a-ball 21 on a very promising debut.
But they were halted by another youngster with an extremely bright future in Dean, who has now taken seven wickets in two games during the T20 series to go with seven in the ODIs.
The off-spinner deceived the batters with her variety in pace and accuracy and has formed an exciting bowling partnership with Ecclestone, who took 2-28.
England were relying on their spinners with Lauren Bell and Katherine Brunt resting, and they certainly rose to the challenge.
‘We almost know our World Cup squad now’
England captain Heather Knight: “I definitely enjoyed today! In T20 it’s all about trying to find the boundaries and play to your strengths and I felt on that wicket that my strengths were being a bit funky and hitting square of the wicket so it was nice to contribute to a team win and nice to feel in good form.
”I don’t think we’re too far away from knowing what our best team is and knowing potentially what that T20 World Cup squad looks like. It’s all been a bit of a fact-finding mission and getting to know a few people and how they work in slightly different places.”