England maintained their ideal start to the Women’s T20 World Cup with an 11-run victory over India at Gqeberha.
India and England had both won their opening two matches, but whichever team finishes top of the group is likely to avoid a semi-final against Australia.
England’s spinners successfully managed to keep the run rate low in the middle overs, with India going 44 runs without hitting a boundary, and Heather Knight’s side held on to victory despite a costly final over from Katherine Sciver-Brunt.
In the first innings after being put in to bat, England’s experienced players held their nerve to recover from the loss of early wickets and set a total of 151 for seven.
England had been 29 for three in the powerplay and struggling against the Indian seam bowlers and Renuka Singh especially, with the 27-year-old finishing with figures of five for 15 from her four overs.
But Nat Sciver-Brunt then steadied the England innings, making 50 from 42 deliveries and putting on 51 with Knight (28) and 40 with wicketkeeper Amy Jones who struck a useful 40 from 27.
India started their chase on the front foot, hitting 29 before the loss of the first wicket, with the Women’s Premier League’s most expensive player Smriti Mandhana leading from the front at the top of the order and making a half-century of her own (52 from 41).
However, their chase stalled with the introduction of spin, with Sarah Glenn taking two wickets and Sophie Ecclestone’s four overs going for just 14 runs.
Richa Ghosh briefly threatened to take the game down to the wire, hitting a quick 47 from 34 including two sixes, but England were able to secure victory.
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