England women in crushing win over Pakistan

(BBC) England bounced back from their opening defeat by India to make their highest Women’s World Cup total in a crushing win over Pakistan at Leicester.

Natalie Sciver

Natalie Sciver hit 137 off 92 balls and Heather Knight 106 off 109 – their maiden one-day international centuries – in a total of 377-7 at Grace Road.

After they put on 213, Danielle Wyatt made a brisk unbeaten 42.

Pakistan, who were 107-3 from 29.2 overs when rain came, lost by 107 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system.

England face Sri Lanka at Taunton on Sunday, a day when all eight teams are in action, with Pakistan facing rivals India at Derby.

England had shown signs of nerves as they lost to India on Sunday, and after Pakistan won the toss and a shower delayed the start by half an hour, Tammy Beaumont was dropped at slip off the first ball of the innings.

Sarah Taylor was trapped lbw by the erratic Kainat Imtiaz, who also had Beaumont caught behind for a scratchy 14.

Heather Knight

But with only two seamers available – and leg-spinner Bismah Maroof off the field with a hand injury – Pakistan captain Sana Mir had little margin for error.

She was also let down by Pakistan’s poor ground fielding, while slow left-armer Nashra Sandhu failed to hold on to a return catch as Wyatt scored freely in the closing overs.

Having come together at 42-2, Knight and Sciver took the game to Pakistan’s four-pronged spin attack, taking the route of steady accumulation before gradually cranking up the run rate.

Captain Knight hit well through the off side, but was beaten to the half-century mark as Sciver drove and swept Nashra for four successive fours.

The first six did not come until the 33rd over and, after Knight launched Sadia Yousaf and Mir over the leg side, Sciver eased to a 76-ball century.

Knight brought up her ton with a reverse sweep for four, and her dismissal – caught at long-off – was the cue for an astonishing display of hitting from Sciver.

In the final over of the powerplay, the Surrey right-hander clouted seamer Asmavia Iqbal for three successive sixes.

Although Sciver fell next over, picking out substitute fielder Diana Baig at deep mid-wicket, Wyatt, whose unbeaten 42 came off 27 balls, and Fran Wilson (33 from 19) punished an increasingly ragged Pakistan.

With rain forecast, England’s priority in the field was to get through 20 overs in order to constitute a match.

Strike bowler Katherine Brunt had been expensive at Derby, but struck with her seventh delivery as Nahida Khan popped a straightforward catch to Sciver at mid-wicket.

A slower ball pegged bag Javeria Khan’s middle stump as Brunt’s six-over opening spell cost only 21 runs, and spinner Alex Hartley, with an even more miserly economy rate, trapped Asmavia in front.

Although opener Ayesha Zafar had compiled a patient half-century by the time rain returned, Pakistan were well adrift of the DLS par score.

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