By Shashank Kishore in Galle
Pakistan Women pull things back with the ball, but implode while batting to hand 43-run win to England Women
Spin was in on the day as England ensured there were no major surprises in store, brushing aside Pakistan by 43 runs in a Group A encounter of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in Galle on Thursday (September 27).
After being sent in to bat, England posted a competitive total of 133 for 6 in 20 overs. Sana Mir, the Pakistan captain, would have hoped to of make use of the early morning assistance from the pitch after winning the toss, but her bowlers failed to back the decision as Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, and Laura Marsh blazed away to post 50 in just six overs.
Some poor fielding did not help Pakistan as it looked like it was intimidated by the big occasion. Marsh raised her maiden T20I fifty in an opening stand of 102 in 13.1 overs, before being run out for 54.
For a team that has played a lot of cricket together in recent times, it was surprising to see the lack of communication accounting for the next English dismissal, when Edwards was run out for 45.
Sarah Taylor, England's most prolific run-scorer, had the perfect launchpad to accelerate, but given the same pitch was being used for a second consecutive day meant it took a while for the batters to adjust, which became increasingly visible as Pakistan made full use of its slow options.
Pakistan did well to pull things back by picking up the last five wickets for just 20 runs to restrict England to a gettable total. Mir was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2 for 20, while Sadia Yousuf and Nida Rashid had one wicket apiece.
In reply, Pakistan’s batters hardly posed any challenge as it was bowled out for 90 in the 20thover. Despite making a fine comeback with the ball, it was always going to be a stiff task, given England's experienced bowling attack.
Qanita Jalil (14), Nain Abidi (11), Javeria Khan (23) and lower-order batter Batool Fatima (11 not out) were the only ones to put up a fight, but there were no partnerships of note, and the scoring rate refused to pick up at any stage.
Holly Colvin was the pick of the bowlers for England with four scalps, while Danielle Hazell picked up two wickets.
England displayed tremendous agility and enthusiasm on the field, despite having the game well under control at every stage. Its hunger to keep exceeding its expectations, as explained by Edwards before the game, seemed to find an echo in the effort of each and every player.
England next face a tougher challenge against India on Friday, while it is back to the drawing board for Pakistan, who face a threat of elimination, when they face off against Australia, the defending champion.