Cricket

Anya Shrubsole hit the winning runs for England against India.

England close on semi-finals with narrow win over India

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Football News
24/7

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England closed in on a semi-final place at the ICC Women's World Twenty20, but only after being given an almighty scare in a two-wicket victory over hosts India in Dharamsala.

Heather Knight took three for 15 with her off-spin to restrict India to 90 for eight - a score which seemed substandard even on a slow, low pitch offering some turn.

England looked home and dry when they raced to 42 for one in reply, but a middle-order collapse almost derailed their chase.

Seven wickets fell for just 45 runs, and number 10 Anya Shrubsole was dropped at cover the ball before slashing the winning boundary through backward point.

Ekta Bisht took 4-21 and fellow spinner Harmanpreet Kaur 2-22 as England struggled to deal with the turning ball, and some ill-judged running between the wickets aided India's cause further.

Captain Charlotte Edwards fell cheaply in pursuit of the low total but Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor wasted little time adding 32 from 21 balls for the second wicket.

That should have put the result beyond doubt, but both fell to successive deliveries from Kaur, with Beaumont miscuing a simple catch to square-leg on 20 after hitting three consecutive boundaries and Taylor advancing down the pitch only to be stumped by Sushma Verma for 16.

That sparked a serious slump as Knight was stumped for seven, Lydia Greenway fell lbw first ball and Natalie Sciver - who had shown some resistance with 19 - chipped Bisht tamely to cover.

England were threatening to be the architects of their own demise as Danni Wyatt and Jenny Gunn were run out, but Shrubsole survived Kaur fumbling a routine chance in the penultimate over before picking up the match-winning four.

Earlier England's bowlers had impressed, but some sloppy fielding allowed India to post a score which eventually proved testing.

Knight struck with the third ball of the match as Vellaswamy Vanitha hoisted a high catch to Greenway at mid-on before Sciver dropped Smriti Mandhana off Shrubsole.

The seamer swiftly gained revenge when she bowled Mandhana through the gate and, although Wyatt put down another simple chance from Shikha Pandey, England's bowlers never let their opponents get away.

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