Women’s Cricket: England increase Semi-Final hopes with comprehensive win over Pakistan in Canberra

  • Max Parry

England’s path to the semi-final of Women's T20 World Cup is becoming clearer and clearer, as they romped to victory against Pakistan in Canberra earlier today.

They now sit level on points with South Africa following successive wins, only behind the Proteas on net run-rate.

Having been inserted, England reached 158-7 from their 20 overs, with the skipper Heather Knight once again impressing with bat in hand. The middle-order stroke-maker made 62 from 47, including 8 4s and a mammoth 6s straight down the ground, to continue her fine form in the tournament. She rode her luck, having been dropped by Umaima Sohail on the boundary having got to 32. However, the best players cash-in when they get a stroke of good fortune, and Heather Knight is certainly one of England’s best.

Nat Sciver also contributed a punchy 36 from 29, rescuing England from another early wobble. The opening pair will be feeling the heat down-under, as again they failed to get off to an error-free start – this time Amy Jones fell inside the first over with only 4 on the board.

Despite the odd moment to forget for a few England players, Pakistan were roundly beaten: bowled out for a meagre 116 with a couple of balls still to bowl. Sarah Glenn, England’s exciting new leg-spinner, claimed career-best figures of 3-15 from her four overs, whilst spin-twin, Sophie Ecclestone was equally as impressive down the other end, going for only 3 runs-an-over, bowling 16 precious dots and taking 2 wickets to boot.

The seamers faired pretty well too. Anya Shrubsole was entrusted with bowling at the death and she didn’t half rise to the challenge, dismissing Riaz and then Baig to wrap up the win for Heather Knight’s team. Shrubsole finished with figures of 3-25 making her the competition’s highest ever wicket-taker, and taking her tally in T20’s to 100 in just 74 internationals.

Katherine Brunt made an early breakthrough, enabling the spinners to turn the screw on Pakistan, but she’ll surely be a little frustrated with her penultimate over which went for 17. Brunt’s death bowling this tournament has left a lot to be desired and it will be interesting to see whether Knight entrusts her with the responsibility in England’s next fixture.

This defeat for Pakistan makes progress for them an uphill struggle – it’s win or bust in their final two group games. For England, the task is not so daunting, beat West Indies on Sunday and they’ll be in the semis.

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