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Edwards carries England Women into semi-finals

Pakistan Women, which needed to chase down the 149-run target in 18.1 overs to qualify for knockouts, is bowled out for just 80

27 March 2016 22:39

Edwards carries England Women into semi-finals
 - Cricket News

Pakistan had no choice, but to attack from the beginning and ended up gifting wickets in the process.

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. An unbeaten 61-ball 77 from Charlotte Edwards took England Women to a 68-run win over Pakistan Women, in the process sealing a spot in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2016.

Edwards’s brilliant knock, filled with ten boundaries, helped England post 148 for 7 from its 20 overs at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday (March 27). Pakistan needed to chase down the target in 18.1 overs to qualify for the semi-final but that never came into the scheme of things as it was bowled out for 80 in 17.5 overs.

The result knocked Pakistan out of the tournament and also confirmed West Indies Women’s spot in the knockouts.

Edwards did everything right, starting with winning the toss. She set the tone in the very first over, driving Anam Amin through the offside for two boundaries.

Pakistan needed Amin, the left-arm spinner, to do a bulk of the damage give she was their in-form bowler. However, Edwards’s confident start rubbed off on Tammy Beaumont, who smashed four boundaries in Amin’s next over.

Pakistan took to pace but Edwards was up to that challenge too, cutting and pulling Asmavia Iqbal for boundaries. Before Pakistan could come to terms with what was happening, England had raced to 55 for no loss in the Power Play.

Edwards and Beaumont dealt in boundaries but took different approaches to their batting. While Edwards was classical – playing some gorgeous drives and punches – Beaumont was more innovative, sweeping and reverse sweeping the spinners. A massive six off Sana Mir over deep mid-wicket stood out.

England’s openers threatened to race away with the game but Nida Dar, the off-spinner, pulled things back slightly by striking thrice in her first three overs. She first had Beaumont caught brilliantly at point by Muneeba Ali and then bowled Sarah Taylor for an eight-ball duck. Natalie Sciver started positively with three boundaries but Dar ensured it was shortlived, beating her sweep to reduce England to 89 for 3 in 13 overs.

Dar went on to finish an impressive spell conceding just 21 runs for her three wickets.

England’s middle order had collapsed remarkably in their previous two matches, but on this occasion, they had the experienced Edwards to ensure they didn’t throw away the advantage. Edwards launched another counter-attack, taking Sadia Yousuf’s left-arm spin for three boundaries in the 16th over to cross her half-century in just 46 balls.

The momentum was back with England and its captain decided to flaunt her cheeky side, playing a couple of reverse sweeps. Danielle Wyatt gave her captain good company and the pair added 59 runs for the fourth wicket from just 42 balls, helping England get close to 150.

Pakistan’s bowlers were constantly under the pump and it didn’t help that its fielders had an off-day. Apart from a number of misfields, they dropped three catches, putting down Beaumont on 18 and Edwards twice, on 42 and 66.

Given the trend of low scores in this tournament, the target was a stiff one, and Pakistan had no choice but to attack from the beginning. It tried exactly that but ended up gifting wickets in the process. It started with Sidra Ameen, who had made an unbeaten 53 in Pakistan’s previous game against Bangladesh Women, mistiming Katherine Brunt to mid-off in the first over – a blow from which Pakistan never recovered.

Nahida Khan, the other opening batter, tried to attack but lost partners. Bismah Maroof chipped Anya Shrubsole to mid-wicket before Muneeba slogged Laura Marsh to deep mid-wicket. Nahida and Nain Abidi continued the procession, leaving Pakistan tottering at 35 for 5 in the seventh over.

Pakistan needed a miracle of sorts from Mir, but when she too fell with the team’s score on 48, the writing was on the wall. Marsh ended with 3 for 12 while Sciver, Georgia Elwiss and Shrubsole got two wickets each.

Click here to view the full scorecard.