Sciver, Jones fifties send England into finals

Arundhati Reddy is stumped by Amy Jones (Romario Samaroo photo)

Inaugural tournament winners, England marched into tomorrow’s final of the Women’s World T20  after brushing aside India by eight wickets in the second semifinal at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua yesterday.

They will play Australia who trounced the West Indies earlier in the day.

With the aroma of barbecue engulfing the ground and dancers and loud music entertaining the 10,000 in attendance, India lost their final eight wickets for just 23 runs as they crawled to 112 all out in 19.3 overs to which England responded with a commanding 116-2 in 17.1 overs with Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver stroking half centuries.

The former champions began their chase to reach their fourth final unsteadily, with Radha Yadav flighting one of her left arm spin deliveries to Tamsin Beaumont who slogged it into the hands of Arundhati Reddy at mid wicket for one while Danielle Wyatt fell to the same shot to  off-spinner, Sharma.

However, a 91-run third wicket partnership between Jones and Sciver steered their side to victory.

The pair milked the gaps well, taking quick singles with Sciver finding the gap several times on her way to an unbeaten 52 in just 39 balls while Jones pounded three fours and a six to bring up her maiden fifty in 45 balls, eventually remaining unbeaten on 53.

Earlier, the formidable Indian batting line up with the absence of Mithali Raj were off to a blazing start as vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana and Taniya Bhatia rocketed to 43 runs before Mandhana was dismissed on the final ball of the sixth over.

Mandhana’s short stay at the crease was stroke-filled as she dispatched  Sciver, Anya Shrubsole and Danielle Hazel to the boundary. She was especially brutal to Sophie Ecclestone who she smacked for two fours and a six but her 23-ball innings worth 34 runs was contrastingly closed with an ever so slightly push back to Ecclestone.

Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur looked settled but while attempting a second run, not even a dive could get her to the crease as she departed for 26, consisting of three boundaries.

Kaur and Krishnamurthy were both dismissed in the 16th over with Krishnamurthy getting too early into her sweep as the ball took the edge of the blade and popped into the air for an easy  catch by Amy Jones behind the stumps while Kaur also gave a leading edge into the hands of backward point to depart for 16.

Heather Knight, with her offspin sat on a hat trick with the wickets of Dayalan Hemalatha and Anuja Patil and the poor running between the wickets was capped off with the run out of Deepti Sharma.

India’s collapse condemned them to only 11 boundaries, inevitably  equalling their lowest total in the format for 2018, in the process giving Knight her best bowling figures in the format, 3-9.

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