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28-Feb-2020 11:35:00 GMT
ICC Women T20 World Cup 2020

England ease to victory over Pakistan

England 158 for 7 (Knight 62, Sciver 36, Aiman 3-30) beat Pakistan 116 (Aliya 41, Glenn 3-15, Shrubsole 3-25) by 42 runs

Canberra: England cruised to a 42-run victory over Pakistan to boost their Women's T20 World Cup semi-final hopes in Canberra.

Asked to bat first, England made 158-7, with captain Heather Knight impressing once again with 62 from 47 balls.

Pakistan were comfortably outplayed, dismissed for 116 with two balls remaining, with leg-spinner Sarah Glenn claiming a career-best 3-15 from her four overs.

Anya Shrubsole took 3-25 to become the leading wicket-taker in the history of the competition.

England, who have not won the T20 title since 2009, now have back-to-back wins in Group B but remain second because leaders South Africa have a superior net run-rate.

There are still some batting issues for England to address - they lost openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt cheaply once again - but this was a solid performance.

England's final group game against West Indies takes place on Sunday in Sydney - where a win would book their semi-final place - while Pakistan face South Africa earlier on the same day.

Pakistan stunned West Indies in their opening group match and they would have looked at England's faltering batting line-up with hopes of another surprise.

They quickly had England 4-1, as Jones was trapped lbw by a fine Diana Baig delivery, before an unsettled Wyatt slapped Aiman Anwar to point.

Once again, Knight and Natalie Sciver produced a rescue job, their 34-run stand settling England before Sciver was stumped as she accidentally dragged her back foot out of the crease.

Aided by some awful Pakistan fielding, which included a terrible drop at deep mid-wicket, Knight moved to her half-century before hoicking a huge six over long-on.

However once the captain fell, caught in the same area, England stumbled. They lost three wickets in 11 balls and could scramble only eight runs from the final over which, ultimately, proved to be enough.

Pakistan have not beaten England in a T20 international since 2013 and while they have improved since then, their batting was not strong enough to consistently worry England.

They stuttered to 35-2 inside the powerplay, and wickets fell regularly throughout the innings.

Players came and went, occasionally slapping the ball to the ropes before holing out, and Glenn excelled to dismiss their middle order.

Shrubsole bowled a superb 19th over, taking a fine caught and bowled to dismiss Baig and claim her 100th T20 wicket, while Sophie Ecclestone was barely hit off the square in a brilliant 2-12.

England's bowlers were, however, a little sloppy in the final few overs - a furious Brunt leaked 17 runs from her penultimate over, while they conceded 17 wides in their innings.

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