The goal in Sri Lanka was to win five matches on the trot and win the tournament, confirms Charlotte Edwards
Sarah Taylor (L) and Danielle Wyatt celebrate England's win over Australia.
At the end of the group stages of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012, England was the only team that remained unbeaten. The team, which came into the tournament on the back of matches against India and West Indies at home, took the least amount of time to acclimatise to the Sri Lankan conditions, or at least it appeared that way.
"Really pleasing to be going into the knockouts with three wins," said Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, after beating Australia on Monday (October 1). "Our goal coming in here was to win five straight games to win the cup, two more to go and we're all looking forward to it."
Edwards has led from the front, getting the team off to good starts more often than not. Backing her up have been Laura Marsh and Sarah Taylor, who have ensured that the middle-order hardly had to do much. And when her chance came, against Australia, Danielle Wyatt pitched in with a solid cameo. "I think everyone's been working really hard," said Edwards. "Wyatt was getting a hit for the first time and she got runs, we approached the game in the way we really planned to do. All the batters have worked hard at the nets, so rustiness is not a concern."
Sarah Taylor led the way in England's chase with a beligerent knock, which, interestingly, didn’t make her entirely happy. "I struggled a bit at the start, my worst start probably," reckoned Taylor. "Charlotte asked me to just stay in there and focus on partnerships. Wyatt took the pressure off me with some clean hitting, and she made my job a lot easier. Nice to get over the line.”
Jodie Fields, the Australian captain, felt it was the quality of the England batters that made the difference in the end. "I thought we were right in the game till the end. Batting was pretty much how we wanted it to go," said Fields. "We must give credit where its due. I thought Sarah and Wyatt were outstanding, they were undoubtedly the better side."
Australia will play the West Indies in its semi-final clash at the R Premadasa Stadium on October 5. Fields said Australia have plans firmly in place for its opponents. "The positive for us is everyone is in form. West Indies is a very good team, we played against them in the warm-up, so we have an idea of what to expect and we have plans to counter them," said Fields.