A dominant England has come up with a fine all-round performance to crush Pakistan by nine wickets and keep themselves alive in the search for a place in the semifinals of the ICC Women’s World Cup here on Thursday. Bowling first, England bundled out Pakistan for a low total of 105 in 41.3 overs, and then, chased down the target with as many as 184 balls to spare.
England opted to field after winning the toss and their opening bowler Katherine Brunt (3/17) and left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3/18) led England’s brilliant show with the ball at the Hagley Oval. When they came to bat, opener Danni Wyatt top-scored with an unbeaten, aggressive 68-ball 76 while captain Heather Knight remained not out on 24 in 36 deliveries.
With this massive win, England have not just moved to six points on the points table but also have a better net run rate than India and are placed at the fourth place. In this do or die game for English girls, Brunt gave England the ideal and Pakistan the worst possible start by removing Nahida Khan in the very first ball of the match. Pakistan was none for one, and it soon became 11 for two when skipper Bismah Maroof was run out while going for a needless second run. Pakistan found themselves in dire straits thanks to another horrible run out, this time the victim being Omaima Sohail off a Tammy Beaumont direct hit in the 14th over with the score reading 33 for three. It became 53 for four when Brunt had Nida Dar trapped in front of the wicket with a ball that pitched on middle and leg before hitting her low on the front pad. The batter opted for a review but it did go in her favour, as the English rejoiced.
Pakistan could add just five more runs before the set Sidra Ameen (32), the innings’ top-scorer, played a fast Brunt delivery on to the stumps while looking to guide it to the third man region. Wicketkeeper Sidra Nawaz contributed 23 before Ecclestone wrapped up the Pakistan innings. The whether got a bit gloomy in Christchurch as England began their reply, but that did not come in way of their chase as they sealed the game in their favour in only 19.2 overs.