England v West Indies: Danni Wyatt's half-century helps hosts to win
|Second women's Twenty20 international, The County Ground, Northampton|
|England 180-6 (20 overs): Wyatt 81, Jones 37|
|West Indies 138-9 (20 overs): King 43; Brunt 2-22|
|England won by 42 runs|
England beat an improved West Indies by 42 runs in an entertaining second Twenty20 international in Northampton.
Opener Danni Wyatt scored 81 from 55 balls to help England post an imposing 180-6 from their 20 overs.
West Indies made a quick start thanks to 43 from Stacy-Ann King and Chedean Nation's 22-ball 32, and were in the game at 96-3 after 12 overs.
But both fell in the 13th over and England closed out the win to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The opening match of the series was a wash-out on Tuesday, meaning England can seal the series in the final match on 25 June.
There was concern for England captain Heather Knight who did not field during the West Indies innings because of a hamstring injury, although stand-in captain Anya Shrubsole said her absence was "precautionary".
The Women's Ashes against Australia starts in less than two weeks on 2 July.
England tested at last
England thrashed West Indies 3-0 in the recent one-day international series, winning all three matches by over 100 runs, but were finally tested in this contest, despite the comfortable scoreline.
They were strong favourites at the midway point and that only increased when they removed both West Indies openers in the first two overs, including the dangerous Hayley Matthews, who sliced left-arm spinner Linsey Smith to short third man for two.
But, batting at number three, King added impetus to the tourists' innings with a steady flow of boundaries, her pull shot particularly effective.
West Indies were 31-2 after three overs and 51-2 after six and, despite the run-out of captain Stafanie Taylor for 19, King found an able partner in Nation.
Nation hit a powerful six over mid-wicket, one of six boundaries, and an unlikely win for the tourists was possible with the pair at the crease.
The required scoring-rate was always high, however, and King holed out to deep midwicket off Smith, while Nation was run out four balls later trying to scamper a quick single.
From that point England were clinical. Katherine Brunt quickly bowled Natasha McLean and Kycia Knight to take firm control before wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor again showcased her fine glove-work to stump Chinelle Henry off Nat Sciver.
With the Ashes on the horizon it was good that England were tested in a competitive game.
Wyatt capitalises on poor fielding
For all of their improvement with the bat, West Indies did allow England to reach an above-par total with poor fielding.
The tone was set in the first over with a misfield by Natasha McLean gifting England an extra run and there were handling errors throughout.
Wyatt was not at her fluent best and was dropped on 14 and 17 - the first a comfortable chance for wicketkeeper Knight moving to her right and the second a regulation opportunity at mid-off for Henry.
The opener, who fell short of a record third T20 hundred, shared partnerships with fellow opener Amy Jones (37), Sciver (31) and Knight (22), who all showed good form before the Ashes begins.
In total Wyatt hit 10 boundaries, although she did not she did not fully find her feet until late in her innings when she hit three consecutive boundaries in the 19th over, before cutting Shamilia Connell to backward point.
England have now won 14 successive completed matches in all formats, their third longest such run.
'It was a really good test for us' reaction
England opener Danni Wyatt: "It was great to get back out there in a T20. I enjoyed myself and it was nice to get some runs.
"We thought we had a decent score at the break but Windies pushed us hard and made us work for the win, which was a really good test for us.
"With the bat we ran hard and accelerated well towards the end. I think the bowlers did well. There were a few pressure overs that became quite important when the Windies were going big and they delivered to keep us ahead of the game."
Former Middlesex captain Isabelle Westbury on BBC Test Match Special: "I think there are probably a few things to work on but it's good to get another win and keep the run going.
"It was a very workmanlike win, but very satisfying knowing what England could achieve if they get everything right."
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