Windies Women’s coach Gus Logie is a disappointed man after his side was unceremoniously ousted from the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup but it isn’t because of the losses, it’s because he believes they can do better.

According to Logie, the West Indies Women are a much better batting team than they have proved so far.

“It's T20 cricket, you need show courage, you need to show composure. If you are timid you are not going produce the kind of scores you want to produce and we've seen that with our batting, it's been pretty timid the whole series starting with the first game against Thailand when you have a score of 70-odd to get and it took 16 overs to get it,” said Logie, who watched as his side started with a seven-wicket win over Thailand before being blitzed by Pakistan and then England. Their final game against South Africa was abandoned on account of persistent showers.

"That tells me, at the end of the day, while the players have some batting ability I think there's a fear factor in the middle to play their natural game. It's unfortunate that they wait until they get to the highest level of the game, in a World Cup, to show that lack of courage," he said.

Logie went on to say that you saw the difference in the team when they were in training where they felt the freedom to play the way they play.

"Batting is an individual thing, you play as well as you can, you have to back yourself. Some of the balls these ladies are patting, you bowl those balls in the nets and they go way, way out of it. It's not to say they can't play the shots, I think it's about believing in themselves under pressure.

"Over the years, we've always had good performances, but if you look at the scores they've always been about 120-130. We've had good bowling performances and defended it in the field. I don't think we have scored 160s and 170s as regularly as we want to."

Predictably, there were no West Indian women in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Team of the Tournament after the 2016 champions faltered badly to go out in the first round.

The West Indies Women started with a seven-wicket win over Thailand before being blitzed by Pakistan and then England. Their final game against South Africa was abandoned on account of persistent showers.

But in those losses there were no individual performances of note, leaving the ICC selectors with the easy choice of leaving them out.

The selectors did have a tough time though, with five players from Australia’s victorious squad being named to the Team of the Tournament.

Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney did damage aplenty with the bat and the two reprise their roles as openers in the final XI.

They’re joined by fast bowler Megan Schutt, who took four wickets in the Final against India to finish as leading wicket-taker with 13, and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen.

There is also a spot for captain Meg Lanning, who led Australia from the front both with the bat and in the field to guide her country to a fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title.

The side was pulled together by a selection panel featuring commentators and former international players Ian Bishop, Anjum Chopra and Lisa Sthalekar, journalist Raf Nicholson and ICC representative Holly Colvin.

 

 The team of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 (in batting order) is:

 

  1.     Alyssa Healy (wk) (Australia) – 236 runs at 39.33, seven dismissals
  2.     Beth Mooney (Australia) – 259 runs at 64.75
  3.     Nat Sciver (England) – 202 runs at 67.33
  4.     Heather Knight (England) – 193 runs at 64.33
  5.     Meg Lanning (c) (Australia) – 132 runs at 44
  6.     Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) – 94 runs at strike rate of 149
  7.     Jess Jonassen (Australia) – 10 wickets at 14.00
  8.     Sophie Ecclestone (England) – eight wickets at 6.12
  9.     Anya Shrubsole (England) – eight wickets at 10.62
  10.     Megan Schutt (Australia) – 13 wickets at 10.30
  11.     Poonam Yadav (India) – 10 wickets at 11.9
  12.     Shafali Verma (India) – 163 runs at strike rate of 158.25

 

Healy and Mooney broke their own record set in 2018 with the most runs as a partnership in a Women’s T20 World Cup, with 352 at an average close to 60.

They also made their second century partnership in four innings while Healy lit up Melbourne to record the quickest 50 in a Final and the highest score in the showcase.

The latter was beaten by her partner a few overs later, with Mooney’s unbeaten 78 seeing her reach 259 runs - the most for one player at any edition of the tournament.

The Australian pair are followed in the team by another stellar duo, with nobody bettering the 169-run partnership made by Nat Sciver and Heather Knight against Thailand.

The middle-order batters were in inspired form throughout, Knight becoming the first England cricketer to register centuries in all three formats with her ton against the debutants.

Sciver’s consistency was remorseless in Australia, scoring half-centuries in three of England’s four completed matches to end her tournament with 202 runs and two wickets.

Ensconcing herself in the middle order is Lanning, who steered her country to a historic fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title and the first on home soil.

Her 49 in the semi-final against South Africa will be remembered as one of the most vital innings of the competition, while her tournament-defining captaincy sees her named skipper for this team.

Laura Wolvaardt only batted in two innings but certainly made her mark on the action.

The 20-year-old struck 53 not out to take South Africa beyond Pakistan, with a glorious array of straight and cover drives lighting up the Sydney Showground.

And she almost went one better in the semi-final against Australia, another eye-catching knock of 41 not out seeing her team finish just short of the Final.

As for the bowlers, few could match the feats of left-arm spinner Jonassen, who finished with ten scalps in her six matches.

The Australian took at least one wicket in each, with no better haul than the three for 20 against India in the Final which clinched a fifth title.

She’s joined in the XI by two record-breaking England bowlers in spinner Sophie Ecclestone and pacer Anya Shrubsole.

No bowler has taken more than Shrubsole’s 41 Women’s T20 World Cup wickets, with eight coming in her four matches Down Under.

For Ecclestone, meanwhile, the sky is the limit for a 20-year-old who has taken a wicket in her last 18 T20I matches.

A tournament tally of eight for 49 combines both wicket-taking ability and a stunning economy rate for Ecclestone, who now sits top of the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Bowling Rankings.

Coming in at ten is Schutt, with no player bettering the 13 wickets she took at a single tournament.

That all came to the perfect conclusion at the MCG for Schutt, finishing with four for 18 against an India line-up she had feared to win the Final for Australia.

Rounding off the XI is leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who had Australia in knots in a dramatic opening game of the tournament.

India’s leading T20I wicket-taker took four for 19 in the opener and didn’t look back, bagging three against Bangladesh before rounding off with wickets in each match.

Taking her place as 12th is teenage sensation Shafali Verma – who broke record after record at the top of India’s order.

Fearless cricket had the opposition running scared of the 16-year-old, with her devastating 163 runs coming at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 158.25.

India and England face off in the first of Thursday’s semi-finals after finishing top of Group A and second in Group B respectively at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

In previous ICC tournaments England have come out on top, beating India in both the 2017 50-over final and the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final - but this time their opponents are in inspired form as the only side to win all their group matches.

One of them has the tournament’s top wicket-taker and the other the top run-scorer — but who else could be crucial in deciding their side’s final fate?

 

Shafali Verma v Anya Shrubsole

 

There’s no doubt England know who they need to remove early for their strongest chance of beating India on Thursday.

Teenager Shafali Verma has taken world cricket by storm in Australia for her fearless brand of batting has helped her become the top-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.

The 16-year-old prodigy is India’s highest run-scorer in the competition with 161 and her team will be relying heavily on their opener for another good start in Sydney.

England will take comfort in the fact that Verma’s lack of fear could make her liable to an early exit - something her more experienced opponents have cottoned onto.

Against Australia and Bangladesh, Ellyse Perry and Panna Ghosh took her crucial wicket and England will have been studying her performances in detail in order to do the same.

While England aren’t short of talented bowlers, one who just might be able to suss out Verma best is the experienced Anya Shrubsole.

Only India’s Poonam Yadav has more wickets than Shrubsole at this edition and she became the first England bowler to 100 T20I wickets when hitting the milestone against Pakistan.

With 41 scalps, Shrubsole also the most wickets in the history of the Women’s T20 World Cup and if any team are aware of her threat, it’s India.

Shrubsole’s match-winning six for 46 helped England down India to win the 50-over title at Lord’s in 2017 by nine runs - this time she’ll be keen to stop them getting anywhere near the title.

 

Harmanpreet Kaur v Sophie Ecclestone

 

While stopping Verma is the first task, the key for England will be preventing India’s batters from stepping up collectively in Sydney.

A lack of firepower in the middle order is still a concern for India and that’s exactly where their opponents will need to target.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur is one to have underwhelmed thus far, hitting double figures in just one of their four group wins, and India will need their star players to step up now more than ever if they want to make it to Sunday’s Final at the MCG.

But England may just have the perfect weapon to keep her away.

The skipper has struggled with spin in Australia with Jess Jonassen, Leigh Kasperek and Shashikala Siriwardena all taking her wicket throughout the group stages.

And England are certainly not lacking in the spin department themselves.

England’s young triumvirate of Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers have stolen the headlines Down Under, with Ecclestone now the top-ranked bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.

Ecclestone has taken wickets in her last 18 T20I matches and has confidence in abundance in this tournament, trusted enough to take the ball in the Powerplay.

Aged 20, she already has 50 T20I wickets to her name – eight of those coming in this Women’s T20 World Cup at the cost of just 49 runs.

 

Nat Sciver v Poonam Yadav

 

Nat Sciver has been in the form of her life in Australia.

The 27-year-old all-rounder has had an outstanding tournament so far, scoring three half-centuries to top the run-scoring charts and steer England to the knockout stages.

Judging by her past record, she’s more than capable of taking that up to four against India.

Sciver scored a half-century against Thursday’s opponents in the 2018 semi-final in the West Indies to pip them to a spot in the final showdown.

But there’s a certain India bowler who has no problems with dismantling the greats.

Poonam Yadav finished as the highest wicket-taker of the pool stages with nine after ripping through Australia’s batting unit on the opening night of the tournament.

If the tournament’s highest wicket-taker comes up against her batting equivalent on Thursday, expect to see fireworks - they’ll both be determined to come out as top dog.

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor will play no further part in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 due to injury.

Taylor suffered a right-side groin strain in the eighth over of her side’s defeat to England at Sydney Showground on Sunday, forcing her to retire hurt on 15.

That injury has ruled her out of West Indies’ final Group B match against South Africa in Sydney on Tuesday.

No replacement player has been requested and Taylor will stay with the West Indies team until the end of their World Cup campaign.

Gus Logie’s squad has been decimated by injury, with Britney Cooper struggling with an ankle injury and Chinelle Henry missing the defeat to England due to a recurring issue.

These add to ongoing concerns over the fitness of star player Deandra Dottin, who underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery a year ago.

Ahead of their meeting with the Proteas, Logie said: “Right now we are struggling to get an XI on the field.

“We have had other players who have had issues reoccurring through the tournament, so first and foremost against South Africa we are looking to get a fit XI on the field.

“The medical team cleared Deandra to play cricket, she had a tournament in Trinidad before coming out here and did reasonably well.

“We have been nursing her along and hoping, she hadn’t been bowling but she’d been batting pretty well in the nets.

“She did well in the practice games and we felt that if she batted a few overs and gave herself a chance, she would score runs.

“Stafanie was quite shattered, it was a twist of fate. At that stage of the game it was a blow, she gives the others confidence to play.

“Once she was out there, if she was getting the balls away and you never know what could happen.

“Hopefully we can put out a fit XI, but firstly an XI that can stay out there on the park.”

Defeat in Australia’s first game ensured error-free cricket was needed thereon and they delivered in style to record their third successive win of the tournament.

Beth Mooney dominated with the bat with her 60 from 50 balls leading the charge after New Zealand had put the hosts in at Junction Oval.

Wickets at regular intervals thwarted Sophie Devine’s side with leg-spinner Georgia Wareham brilliant with the ball, dismissing Suzie Bates, Maddy Green and the captain herself.

Katey Martin (37 not out) threatened to win the day but the White Ferns fell just four runs short of victory as their hopes of Women’s T20 World Cup glory ended in disappointment.

But it wasn’t all perfection for Australia, with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury midway through the chase.

“Ellyse has been a massive part of our squad and team for a long time and you can’t replace her,” said captain Meg Lanning.

“But we’ve got 15 players here who can do a job and you need a squad to win a World Cup. You can’t rely on one or two players and use the same 11 players every game

“We’re going to have to use the depth we’ve got — that’s just the reality of elite sport, unfortunately.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I have full confidence that whoever comes in can play a role.

“Today’s performance was our best of the tournament so far. I don’t think we could be better placed for the semi-finals.”

New Zealand skipper Devine added: “We let them off the hook at the end of the innings. It would have been a masterstroke at the end if we could have won.

“Certainly skill-wise we’re there. Everyone knows we’re a really talented side. Whether it’s a mindset, game awareness of experience playing in those high-pressure situations. When we get back home, we’ll certainly go through everything.

“That’s the thing about Australia. It doesn’t matter who on the day but someone always seems to step up for them.

“We’re actually really close. To think we’ve taken both Australia and India within five of six runs.”

 

Sri Lanka’s perfect finale for Siriwardena

 

Taking four wickets in a nine-wicket win - Shashikala Siriwardena couldn’t have asked for much more in her final outing for Sri Lanka.

The spinner finished with four for 16, the best figures of this edition to date, to help restrict Bangladesh to 91 for eight in their last Group A match.

Chamari Athapaththu, as she has so often in this tournament, shone with the bat to lead Sri Lanka’s chase with 30 from 22 balls.

But this time she had some top-order support through Hasini Perera (39 not out), guiding her country to fourth spot in the group by winning with four overs remaining.

“From the beginning of the day it was very hard as I knew I was playing my last game,” said Siriwardena.

“I was kind of nervous knowing I would be wearing national colours for the last time. It was pretty emotional, but I told myself it wasn’t the time to get emotional.

“I knew my contribution would be important so I told myself to not think about my retirement until the match ended. I really love to perform, but the main thing was getting the win for the team.

“I’m truly satisfied that I did something to help my country. I’ll miss being with these girls. I have spent more time with this team than with my family.”

Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun added: “We need to keep regularly playing the top-ranked teams in order to improve. The more we play with them, the more we’ll improve. That’s the key for us.

“In one match we batted well, in another we bowled well but our fielding has been a constant concern.

“This experience will help us to move forward. The most important things we need to improve on are our power cricket and level of fitness.

“Our fitness is the main thing that will help us improve our skills and performance.”

 

Scores in brief

 

Australia beat New Zealand by four runs, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

Australia 155-5, 20 overs (Beth Mooney 60, Ellyse Perry 21; Anna Peterson 2-31)

New Zealand 151-7, 20 overs (Katey Martin 37 not out, Georgia Wareham 3-17, Megan Schutt 3-28)

 

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by nine wickets, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

Bangladesh 91-8, 20 overs (Nigar Sultana Joty 39; Shashikala Siriwardena 4-16, Achini Kulasuriya 2-19)

Sri Lanka 92-1, 15.3 overs (Hasini Perera 39 not out, Chamari Athapaththu 30; Nahida Akter 1-18)

Nat Sciver and England’s spinners combined to devastating effect as victory over West Indies secured their place in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals.

All-rounder Sciver picked up from where she left off to score her third half-century of the tournament, helping England to post 143 for five on a tricky track.

West Indies’ response never got going with Lee-Ann Kirby top-scoring with 20 at the Sydney Showground.

That was largely thanks to the spin trio of Sophie Ecclestone (three for seven), Sarah Glenn (two for 16) and Mady Villiers (one for 30), helping dismiss West Indies for 97 to win by 46 runs.

England started afresh with Tammy Beaumont joining Danni Wyatt atop the order but the move didn’t work out, the new opener trapped lbw by Shakera Selman in the first over.

Wyatt then fell to a superb catch in the deep from Hayley Matthews off Anisa Mohammed but in Sciver and captain Heather Knight, England had the best duo for the rebuild job.

With more than 70 per cent of their team’s runs in the tournament, the importance of Knight and Sciver is not lost with the latter reaching her third half-century in four games in this Women’s T20 World Cup.

By then Knight (17) was run out brilliantly by Selman and Fran Wilson had holed out to Britney Cooper at deep midwicket off Afy Fletcher, with England 102 for four with four overs remaining.

Amy Jones, in a new role at No.6, found back-to-back off-side boundaries off Stafanie Taylor but had to watch Sciver finally depart for 57 in the same over to take her tournament tally to 202 runs in four matches.

Just six balls remained as Brunt joined Jones in the middle, the bowler striking boundaries from the last two balls of the innings to take England to 143 for five.

West Indies also tinkered with their top order as Deandra Dottin opened up, but her innings ended on just nine with Ecclestone having her snaffled by short midwicket.

Taylor struck two boundaries off Brunt to end the Powerplay but that was to be her last significant contribution, stretchered off in the eighth over and retiring hurt from the innings.

From there England seized the impetus as star leg-spinner Glenn got into her work, bowling Hayley Matthews with her eighth ball to leave West Indies two down in the ninth over.

It was to get even better for the spin unit, off-spinner Villiers marking her first Women’s T20 World Cup over with a wicket maiden after taking a smart return catch off Shemaine Campbelle.

At 42 for three come halfway, West Indies had work to do with 102 still required and their task was tougher still when Chedean Nation edged Glenn to wicket-keeper Jones without scoring.

Lee-Ann Kirby (20) did her best to inject some momentum with towering sixes off Glenn and Villiers but Anya Shrubsole ended her exploits when the big-hitter was held by Sciver at long-on.

England boast the best economy rate for spinners in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 and with each of Ecclestone, Glenn and Villiers bowling a maiden, they weren’t letting up.

Ecclestone, who has now taken wickets in her last 18 T20I matches, had Britney Cooper stumped while Villiers completed back-to-back run-outs of Afy Fletcher and Aaliyah Alleyne.

Ecclestone then had the last say, taking her 100th international wicket by bowling Anisa Mohammed to send England into the last four.

Scores in brief

England beat West Indies by 46 runs, Sydney Showground

England 143-5, 20 overs (Nat Sciver 57, Danni Wyatt 29; Anisa Mohammed 1-23)

West Indies 97 all out, 17.1 overs (Lee-Ann Kirby 20; Sophie Ecclestone 3-7, Sarah Glenn 2-16)

Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav shone as semi-finalists India made it four from four at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 with a comfortable victory over Sri Lanka.

Yadav was the latest Indian spinner to shine as her four-wicket haul proved pivotal in restricting Sri Lanka to 113 for nine in Melbourne while Verma’s knock of 47 put them in cruise control in the chase,

They eventually hit the target with 32 balls to spare, bringing up India’s fourth successive victory in the tournament.

The win means India, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, will top the Group A table with eight points while Sri Lanka will aim to clinch their first win against Bangladesh on Monday.

Deepti Sharma got India going by removing Umesha Thimeshani for two when Rajeshwari Gayakwad caught her slice at point.

And Gayakwad was the architect of the next to fall, bowling Harshitha Madhavi to leave Chamari Athapaththu holding the fort in the eighth over.

The Sri Lanka captain is no stranger to coping with pressure but this time the skipper holed out to Shikha Pandey when she ambitiously went for her second six off Yadav in two balls.

From there Sri Lanka struggled to regain momentum as Hasini Perera was caught behind by Tanya Bhatia for seven off Yadav.

And it didn’t take Yadav long to stake her claim as India’s spinner of the afternoon, but she had to thank Veda Krishnamurthy for her third wicket as she kept her balance to catch Hansima Karunaratne at the long-on boundary.

The wickets kept on falling in the middle overs and Gayakwad took her second when Krishnamurthy was again alert at long-on to catch Shashikala Siriwardena for 13.

Yadav finished her spell with four for 23 after trapping Anushka Sanjeewani lbw in the 16th over but a late cameo from Kavisha Dilhari (25 not out) helped lift Sri Lanka to 113.

Verma set the tone for India’s successful chase by belting a boundary off the first ball but was lucky she lasted beyond the second over when Dilhari spilled a catch at extra cover.

It proved costly as the 16-year-old sensation produced yet another impressive opening display, hitting five boundaries and a six in the Powerplay to take India to 49 for one.

Dilhari made up for dropping Verma by catching her opening partner Smriti Mandhana at mid-on off Udeshika Prabodani for 16.

It was a brighter outing for Harmanpreet Kaur, the India skipper hitting two fours and a six in the eighth over to reach double figures for the first time in the tournament, but was halted at 15 when Karunaratne caught her off Siriwardena.

Verma led the charge and sent the India fans in Melbourne wild when she crashed one to the boundary through square leg from behind the stumps.

But she fell three short of her maiden World Cup half-century when she was run out by Dilhari.

With Verma having laid the foundations, Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues, both 15 not out, had no trouble polishing off the win with 32 balls to spare.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets, Junction Oval, Melbourne

Sri Lanka 113-9, 20 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 33; Radha Yadav 4-23, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-18)

India 116-3, 14.4 overs (Shafali Verma 47, Smriti Mandhana 17; Udeshika Prabodani 1-13)

Nat Sciver believes West Indies’ indifferent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign makes them a dangerous prospect for England to face in Sydney.

Sciver’s side know a win at the Showground would almost certainly put them into the semi-finals, marking a significant comeback since their opening defeat to South Africa in Perth.

But the all-rounder feels a tough test is in store when they face the 2016 champions, despite Stafanie Taylor’s side failing to hit their straps Down Under - edging out Thailand before losing to Pakistan.

England themselves have been far from perfect, particularly with openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt struggling for form, prompting Sciver to rein in expectations of a comfortable victory.

“I think the pressure of these two games has brought the best out in us,” she said. “We’ve had two pretty clinical performances and put things right that we didn’t do well against South Africa.

“You don’t know what you’ll get from West Indies on the day. The two games they’ve had probably makes them more dangerous. We’ll have to be on our game.

“It’s a tight turnaround, I’m not sure how much training we’ll be doing. We’ll have a review meeting so we know what we need to know about their batters and bowlers ahead of the game.

“It’s hard when batters have a run when they don’t get as many runs as they want to, really. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and keep going for the shots that are your strengths.

“I thought Danni did that well against Pakistan and tried to get a few away. She got some luck, which is helpful when you’re feeling a bit out of form.

“I’m hoping that between now and Sunday she can rethink or just take her mind off it.”

For West Indies, meanwhile, there’s no room for anything less than clinical cricket.

Women’s T20 World Cup champions just four years ago, expectation follows Taylor’s charges at every turn but they have flattered to deceive with two far-from-perfect performances to date.

Victories over both England and South Africa are likely required if they are to reach the last four, but belief is still evident for a team that knows they have plenty more to offer.

“It’s about putting partnerships together, believing in themselves and being able to handle the situation as it comes,” said coach Gus Logie.

“Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin – these are the people you expect to do well. The captain has been getting scores, but we just haven’t got big scores to put pressure on the opposition.

“It’s do-or-die. The players know that if you win you can go through, but lose and you go home. The onus is upon everyone to dig deeper and produce the performances which they know they can.

“They have done well against England and South Africa in past World Cups, they know they can beat them.

“There’s nothing in the stars that say we can’t make the semi-finals so we have to believe we can.

“The approach will have to be positive and that’s what we’re looking at.”

England spin twins Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone inspired England to a 42-run win over Pakistan as their semi-final bid strengthened at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

Heather Knight (62) and Nat Sciver (36) continued their fine form as England posted 158 for seven, enough to seal back-to-back wins and close the gap on South Africa in Group B.

Glenn (three for 15) and Ecclestone (two for 12) exercised unrelenting control over the Pakistan run-chase as Bismah Maroof’s side failed to back up their opening win over West Indies.

Diana Baig had terrorised the West Indies and found early movement once again as Pakistan chose to field, trapping Amy Jones (2) in front with the opener’s review unsuccessful.

Any partnership between Danni Wyatt and Sciver is attractive to watch and the former showed shades of form with three boundaries off an Aiman Anwar over.

Sciver crashed three fours to take the score to 40 for one from four but Wyatt (16) slashed at an Aiman delivery and offered a catch to Muneeba Ali.

Knight and Sciver, fresh from a record-breaking stand against Thailand, look at home batting together and the skipper took ten off an Aliya Riaz over to keep things ticking.

Reaching 74 for two at the halfway stage, England looked comfortable before a moment of brilliance from wicket-keeper Sidra Nawaz, who stumped Sciver off a wide to turn the tide.

Fran Wilson stayed with her captain for six overs, Knight showcasing her increasing range with power through cover and midwicket and Wilson bringing out the sweep.

Pakistan squandered chances in the field, Omaima Sohail dropping Knight on the boundary and return catches squandered by Aiman and Diana.

Knight cleared long-on with a six in the penultimate over but wickets tumbled late on as she was dismissed alongside Tammy Beaumont (6) and Katherine Brunt (0).

England joined the dots at the start of the Pakistan chase and when teenager Muneeba Ali tried to break the shackles, she misjudged an Anya Shrubsole cutter and was bowled.

Javeria Khan was also slow out of the blocks but took a liking to the medium-pace of Sciver, striking back-to-back off-side boundaries amid a slew of dot balls.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof (4) was unable to repeat her match-winning hand against West Indies, shaping to ramp and offering a tame catch to keeper Jones.

Glenn then went to work, coming back from being hit for four by Javeria (16) to bowl the experienced opener before accounting for Iram Javed (4) with a beautifully-flighted ball.

Ecclestone and Glenn proved potent in tandem and the left-armer reaped the rewards of remorseless accuracy with the key wicket of Nida Dar, plumb lbw for 5.

Knight put pace back on the ball and that suited pinch-hitter Aliya Riaz perfectly, planting Sciver over long-on for six and then taking Brunt for two boundaries.

But it didn’t last as Ecclestone bowled Sidra Nawaz (6), Aliya was castled on 41 attempting another slog and Shrubsole took her 100th T20I wicket by dismissing Diana caught and bowled.

Brunt then took the tenth and final wicket by trapping Sadia Iqbal lbw in the last over.

 

Scores in brief

England beat Pakistan by 42 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

 

England 158-7, 20 overs (Heather Knight 62, Nat Sciver 36; Aiman Anwar 3-30)

Pakistan 116 all out, 19.4 overs (Aliya Riaz 41; Sarah Glenn 3-15, Anya Shrubsole 3-25)

Lizelle Lee was at her brutal best as her century saw South Africa to a tournament record total and a 113-run win over Thailand at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Lee took the Thai attack apart with the T20 World Cup’s fifth ton and 88 of her 101 runs came from boundaries as the Proteas posted 195 for three, the highest team total in the tournament’s history.

With Sornarrin Tippoch’s debutants slipping to 82 all out, South Africa strengthened their grip on Group B as they face Pakistan on Sunday with the semi-finals in sight.

Thailand have a knack for nabbing early wickets and were gifted one when Dane van Niekerk (2) patted Ratanporn Padunglerd’s full toss to mid-on.

Lee, tenth in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Batting Rankings, dominated the scoring and slog-swept Onnicha Kamchomphu for a 75-metre six.

Thailand used seven different bowlers inside nine overs but none could withstand Lee’s assault and she reached 50 from 35 balls with a straight six.

Sune Luus, featuring in her fourth Women’s T20 World Cup aged 24, batted on the undercard but still swung Chanida Sutthiruang’s full toss for six over fine leg.

Lee came in without a half-century in nine international innings but glided towards a century in 59 balls, showing her touch with a late cut for four before bringing up a ton fittingly with a four.

No sooner had she raised her bat to salute a jubilant South Africa dugout than she chipped a catch back to Suleeporn Laomi to end the partnership on 131.

Luus ticked to her fourth T20I fifty and Chloe Tryon carted Tippoch over the leg-side fence twice in a penultimate over that cost 20, lifting her side to a record total.

It didn’t take long for Thailand to lose their first wicket as Natthakan Chantam was run out by a fine throw from keeper Trisha Chetty.

Ismail tore the Thai order asunder, beating Nannapat Khoncharoenkai and then Naruemol Chaiwai for sheer pace in successive balls to complete a team hat-trick.

Tippoch and Nattaya Boochatham played out two maidens before a world-class catch from Laura Wolvaardt at midwicket accounted for the Thailand captain.

Kamchomphu led a lone resistance, taking Ayabonga Khaka for back-to-back boundaries and striking Thailand’s first six at the Women’s T20 World Cup off Van Niekerk.

Kamchomphu (26) nicked Luus behind in the 12th over, Chetty whipped off Boochatham’s bails to end her 31-ball vigil and also stumped Wongpaka Liengprasert (6) for the seventh wicket.

Chanida Sutthiruang was given out lbw on review off Nadine de Klerk, Laomi looped a catch to Van Niekerk and Ismail castled Padunglerd to complete a comprehensive win.

 

 Scores in brief

 

South Africa beat Thailand by 113 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

South Africa 195-3, 20 overs (Lizelle Lee 101, Sune Luus 61 not out; Ratanporn Padunglerd 1-19)

Thailand 82 all out, 19.1 overs (Onnicha Kamchomphu 26; Shabnim Ismail 3-8, Sune Luus 3-15)

Australia strolled to back-to-back victories at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as a potent opening partnership between Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney helped beat Bangladesh by 86 runs.

Healy’s return to form continued as she made a carefree 83 to hit the top of the tournament’s run-scoring charts, ably supported by Mooney who ended unbeaten on 81.

Sri Lanka gave them a fright three days earlier but there were no such scares for the hosts as Bangladesh only managed 103 for nine in reply and Meg Lanning’s side climbed to second in Group A.

Healy began with bristling intent, peeling three boundaries from Jahanara Alam’s opening over as Bangladesh’s seven-strong off-side field failed to foil the opener.

Salma Khatun opted to take pace off the ball with five overs of spin in the Powerplay but Healy rocked back and cleared long-on to take the score to 53 without loss from the first six overs.

The keeper-batter made it look easy as she struck sixes over long-off and then midwicket from Khadiza Tul Kubra, bringing up a brutal 26-ball fifty.

Mooney turned over the strike before showing her own strength down the ground with three boundaries in as many overs, helping bring up the first T20I century partnership for the openers.

Their first reprieve came when Rumana Ahmed beat Mooney’s bat and Nigar Sultana Joty was ponderous in whipping off the bails, saving the batter’s skin.

Mooney reverse swept for four to take the stand to 122, Australia’s highest partnership for the first wicket in T20Is.

The breakthrough finally came when Healy sliced to point off Salma, departing for 83 from 53 balls.

Ashleigh Gardner had licence to swing and did just that in the penultimate over, carting Salma for three boundaries in her 22 from nine balls.

The final two overs went for 30 runs and Australia rose to 189 for one from their 20 overs, their second-highest total at the Women’s T20 World Cup.

Bangladesh’s reply began with Murshida Khatun (8) lofting Megan Schutt down the ground at the start of the fourth over but departed two balls later as Jess Jonassen took a fine catch pedalling back at mid-on.

Sanjida Islam toe-ended to the third man boundary from her first ball and was comprehensively bowled by Schutt on her second as an eventful over ended with the score 23 for two.

Annabel Sutherland’s first T20 World Cup spell yielded a maiden wicket as Sanjida was strangled down the leg side for three, with the score on 26 for three.

The youngster was punished for straying down leg soon after by Fargana Hoque Pinky, who built a handy partnership for the fourth wicket with keeper-batter Nigar Sultana.

Nigar stroked Nicola Carey through the covers for four when Lanning turned to spin, and Sutherland leaked more runs as Fargana stroked two boundaries from an over that cost 13.

Nigar and Fargana, who struck Carey for a handsome off-drive, assembled Bangladesh’s second fifty partnership at the T20 World Cup, and it ended on exactly 50 when Nigar skied one to Lanning off Carey on 19.

Rumana made a sprightly 13 from 12 balls but picked out Wareham on the midwicket fence to make it 95 for five and Schutt had her third when Fargana’s top-edge was gleefully caught by Healy.

Three wickets in three balls rounded it off - Jonassen clean bowling Jahanara before Salma and Khadija were run out in successive balls.

 

Scores in brief

 

Australia beat Bangladesh by 86 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

 

Australia 189-1, 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 83, Beth Mooney 81 not out; Salma Khatun 1-39)

Bangladesh 103-9, 20 overs (Fargana Hoque Pinky 36; Megan Schutt 3-21, Jess Jonassen 2-17)

Shikha Pandey held her nerve at the last to help India become the first team into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals with a tense three-run victory over New Zealand.

Having held India at 133 for eight, the White Ferns would have fancied their chances in Melbourne having not failed to chase a sub-140 T20I target since October 2013.

But they were thwarted with the bat, their star-studded top-order of Sophie Devine, Rachel Priest and Suzie Bates all falling within nine overs, as Amelia’s Kerr’s stunning late cameo proved not enough to prevent defeat.

The tense Junction Oval win means India are guaranteed a spot in the last four, with the battle for the final qualifying spot in Group A heating up.

Another impressive outing from Shafali Verma (46) set India on their way but a fine spell of bowling from New Zealand’s own teenage talent Kerr stopped her from dominating, the 19-year-old leg-spinner taking the innings-changing wicket to finish with figures of two for 21.

Smriti Mandhana, who missed the win over Bangladesh due to viral fever, saw her comeback cut short as she was dismissed for 11 by Lea Tahuhu in the third over, the opener chopping onto her stumps.

But once again Verma stepped up, the 16-year-old smashing back-to-back sixes to steer India to 49 for one in the Powerplay.

Tanya Bhatia, in at three, soon followed Verma’s lead, taking India beyond 60 but she perished for 23 when Kerr caught her at point off Rosemary Mair. The same duo combined again to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues for ten.

Verma was twice given a lifeline as chances were squandered in the field, Maddy Green dropping an opportunity at long on before Tahuhu spilled at mid-wicket.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s disappointing form continued as the India captain was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek for one - her third single-figure score in the tournament.

Hayley Jensen made amends for her side’s earlier errors by catching Verma at cover off Kerr for 46, before the spinner trapped Veda Krishnamurthy lbw for six.

Chasing 134, Priest’s time in the middle was short-lived as her aerial option backfired, Radha Yadav holding on at mid-wicket off Pandey to remove the opener for 12.

And the White Ferns’ start to the innings went from bad to worse when the Bates-Devine partnership fell after four overs, the former handing Deepti Sharma her 50th T20I wicket.

Before long Poonam Yadav struck with her spin, dismissing Devine after the skipper mistimed her full toss to point.

The fourth-wicket pair of Green (24) and Katey Martin (25) cautiously plodded on, putting on a 43-run partnership before the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Two overs later and Martin was gone, Rodrigues with the catch on the mid-wicket boundary off Radha Yadav.

That looked to be game done and dusted but Kerr (34) defied Poonam’s heroics to set up a nerve-wracking finale, striking 18 in the penultimate over.

But she couldn’t muster a final-ball six as the White Ferns agonisingly missed out, suffering their first defeat of this Women’s T20 World Cup.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat New Zealand by three runs, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

India 133-8, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2-21, Rosemary Mair 2-27)

New Zealand 130-6, 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 34 not out, Katey Martin 25; Shikha Pandey 1-21)

West Indies all-rounder Chinelle Henry says she is disappointed with the performance of her team that led to a crushing eight-wicket victory at the hands of Pakistan in Canberra on Wednesday.

The loss left the Windies women third in the Group B table with two matches to go and just two to qualify for the semi-final of the biennial competition.

According to Henry, it was a desperate day for Windies from the very first ball, when opener Hayley Matthews was dismissed lbw by Diana Baig, and her side didn’t show up in the field.

“Everything went wrong from the first ball of the game,” said Henry.

“As a unit, we stuck together and got to a pretty decent total. As a bowling unit, we just didn’t execute as we would want to.

“Everyone was disappointed with our fielding performance. We can do much better - we just didn’t turn up. We have to work out why that happened.

“We have two games to go and we know as individuals they are must-win games. We’re going to go back to the drawing board.”  

Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof, in the meantime, is leaning on the defeat her side handed the West Indies for the belief the unit can topple the giants of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Pakistan have never made it out of the preliminary stages of the tournament but began their Group B campaign with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory on the back of Bismah's unbeaten 38.

The skipper praised her bowlers and feels the result will infuse her side with hope they can progress for the first time.

“We needed this win to move ahead and it has given us some momentum and belief,” said the Pakistan captain.

“We’ve struggled at times in run chases but we kept our focus, kept calm and stayed in the middle. We knew if we got a partnership, we had to go on and our openers played very well.

“We want to play aggressive cricket and get the bad balls to the boundary and the openers showed good intent.”

“The belief is there, but we will take it game by game. We’ll have to play at 120 per cent to beat teams like England.

“The way this tournament has gone, it’s quite wide open and any team can beat the other. We’re looking forward to the next game and we’ll be putting in maximum effort.”

Pakistan were startlingly untroubled in their run-chase, with Javeria Khan judicious in the Powerplay and helping guide youngster Muneeba Ali to their country’s best Women’s T20 World Cup opening partnership.

Bismah, while slow to get started, swept adroitly and alongside Nida Dar, turned the screw on a poor West Indies performance with the ball and in the field.

The two teams played out a tight T20I series in February 2019 with West Indies’ 2-1 win clinched by a Super Over, but the difference between the sides was cavernous in the Australian capital.

 

Heather Knight’s majestic maiden T20I century helped England to a record-breaking 98-run victory over Thailand in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

The England skipper led an emphatic response to defeat against South Africa, blasting 108 from 66 balls to become the fourth batter to make a hundred at the event and send records tumbling.

England’s total of 176 for two was their highest T20I total and Knight’s unbeaten third-wicket stand of 169 with Nat Sciver was the highest partnership for any wicket in Women’s T20 World Cup history.

Thailand managed 78 for seven from their 20 overs, with England’s victory by 98 runs the largest winning margin at the tournament.

All this was scarcely conceivable after a remarkable start to the game with the 2009 winners were reduced to seven for two, both England openers dismissed for ducks for just the second time in T20Is.

Nattaya Boochatham, leading T20I wicket-taker in the world in 2019, sparked wild celebrations as her arm ball beat a charging Amy Jones and she was stumped second ball.

Opening partner Danni Wyatt then perished for a golden duck, slicing Soraya Lateh to cover point where Wongpaka Liengprasert dived forward to take an excellent catch.

Just as in their defeat to the Proteas in Perth, Sciver combined security with expansive stroke play to grasp the impetus, scoring her third half-century in four innings.

Knight showed similar restraint and punished medium-pacer Chanida Sutthiruang when she strayed leg side, twice hooking to the boundary as the pair raced to a 50 stand from 34 balls.

Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd over backward square for six to reach her half-century from 34 balls, another expertly-judged sweep notching up the 100 stand in the 15th over.

The England captain moved past 90, lifting Liengprasert over long-on in an over that cost 17, and became the fourth England player to reach three figures with a cut for two in the final over.

Knight has a remarkable record at Manuka Oval, with all four of her T20I 50+ scores coming in Australia’s capital, the most of any woman at a single venue in the format.

Her side posted an imposing 176 for two and it took just four balls of the Thai reply to strike, Anya Shrubsole jagging one back through Boochatham’s defences and trapping her lbw for 0.

Natthakan Chantam impressed with her power through the off-side, driving Katherine Brunt handsomely to the cover boundary and then cutting Sciver to the fence inside the Powerplay.

With the fielding restrictions relaxed, the flow of runs ground to a virtual halt with 12 runs coming from five overs from spinners Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Knight.

Ecclestone’s metronomic accuracy was rewarded with the second wicket as her quicker one foxed Chantam and pinned her in front for 32 from 53 balls.

Wickets tumbled with Sciver pouching two in an over as Nannapat Khoncharoenkai was bowled slashing across the line and Sutthiruang found mid-on.

Shrubsole returned to remove Thailand skipper Sornarrin Tippoch, stumped off a wide for one, before Liengprasert was run out by the seamer to make it 62 for six.

England's resounding victory was capped when Shrubsole forced Onnicha Kamchomphu to chip to mid-off from the penultimate delivery.

 

Scores in brief

 

England beat Thailand by 98 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

 

England 176-2, 20 overs (Heather Knight 108 not out, Nat Sciver 59 not out; Nattaya Boochatham 1-18)

Thailand 78-7, 20 overs (Natthakan Chantham 32; Anya Shrubsole 3-21, Nat Sciver 2-5)

Pakistan claimed the scalp of West Indies as they outplayed the 2016 winners and began their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign with an eight-wicket victory in Canberra.

Four teams in Group B are now on two points with England leading the way, followed by Pakistan. The West Indies are third and with two teams coming out of each group are already in danger of not making it into the semifinals. South Africa are fourth.

Pakistan and South Africa have played just one game, while England, who suffered defeat to South Africa in their opener but recovered to demolish Thailand, are in the same position as the West Indies.

Sharp new ball bowling from Diana Baig exposed a struggling Windies top order and only when Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle were at the crease did they look fluent in posting 124 for seven.

Pakistan openers Javeria Khan and Muneeba Ali controlled the chase expertly and put on 57, with captain Bismah Maroof’s unbeaten 38 steering her side to a seventh win at the Women’s T20 World Cup.

The Windies top order faltered and found themselves three wickets down within seven overs for the second game in succession.

Hayley Matthews, star of the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup Final, fell for a diamond duck as Diana got the game’s first ball to move in the air and rap the opener on the pads.

Lee-Ann Kirby’s stand-and-deliver approach yielded three quick boundaries as she lofted Aiman Anwar for four over mid-off and then cover in the fourth over.

But she perished on the first ball of the fifth, Diana enticing another heave from the opener who skewed a catch to Muneeba Ali running back at point, departing for 16.

Deandra Dottin’s troubled stay at the crease ended when she tried to drag Nida Dar from outside off-stump over long-on and could only pick out Iram Javed, departing for one from 10 balls.

Experienced duo Taylor and Campbelle steadied the ship, the captain improving on the disappointing strike rotation last time out before Campbelle cleared the midwicket rope of Dar.

Campbelle - who brought up a century of T20I appearances against Thailand - missed an attempted reverse sweep off Anam Amin and while given not out on-field, Bismah’s referral adjudged her lbw for 43.

All-rounder Chinelle Henry couldn’t settle, dropped on her fourth ball as Anam grassed a return catch, but she departed when trapped lbw for four playing Aiman Anwar across the line.

Taylor put her foot down in the 18th over, carting Aiman’s low full toss over midwicket and just clearing the long-on boundary off Nida before picking out Diana on the cow corner fence for 43 from 47 balls.

Pakistan’s opening pair were cautious at the start of their reply, with thick edges wide of the slip cordon yielding three boundaries inside the first four overs as they reached 28.

Henry’s medium pace caused few problems as Javeria cut and then pulled her to the rope and Muneeba got in on the act with a firm drive as the over went for 14 runs.

Taylor turned to spin after the Powerplay but Javeria was well set, picking boundaries off Matthews and then twice from Afy Fletcher.

It took the Windies skipper herself to remove Javeria, who misjudged the length of a straight one and departed lbw for a well-made 35.

Muneeba, whose opening partnership of 58 with Javeria was Pakistan’s highest first-wicket stand at the tournament, failed to pick Fletcher’s googly on 25 and could only chip to Anisa Mohammed at midwicket.

Bismah took 24 balls to find her first boundary but continued to use her sweep well to spin and scored heavily behind square, Nida Dar offering composed support with mistakes from Taylor and Nation symptomatic of a disappointing Windies fielding display.

Pakistan were untroubled in the closing stages, Bismah hitting the winning boundary as her partnership of 50 with Nida paved the way for a memorable Pakistan win.

Scores in brief

Pakistan beat West Indies by eight wickets, Manuka Oval, Canberra

West Indies 124-7, 20 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 43, Stafanie Taylor 43; Diana Baig 2-19)
Pakistan 127-2, 18.2 overs (Bismah Maroof 38 not out, Javeria Khan 35; Stafanie Taylor 1-20)

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