Best when up against it - Taylor
Watch footage from Charlotte Edwards, Claire Taylor and Karen Rolton at the post-match press conference
Claire Taylor never doubted England's capacity to overhaul Australia's mammoth score, as the star batsman reflected on sealing England’s place in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final.
Taylor scored a wonderfully assured 76 not out, in a partnership of 122 with Beth Morgan (46no) as the world champions pulled off an unlikely chase of 164 at The Oval to progress to Sunday’s final against New Zealand.
Even though the 2009 Wisden Cricketer of the Year arrived at the crease with England 43 for two with seven overs gone, Taylor never lost faith that the second biggest total in the tournament so far was within reach.
“I absolutely felt it was still on,” Taylor told ecb.co.uk. “We were up against it but there’s no greater challenge than when you’re chasing a big total.
“Beth’s great to bat with. She’s quick between the wickets - runs hard and picks the gaps when she bats.
“We were trying to put pressure on the fielders by running the first one hard and I think that worked.
“With the boundaries out so far, we didn’t want to go for too many boundaries too early.
“But it’s such a nice to wicket to bat on - I think the men will score loads on it this evening.”
An England win looked distinctly unlikely when Australia’s powerful opening batsmen were tearing into the bowling in the opening powerplay.
But Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh removed Shelley Nitschke and Leah Poulton from successive balls, and despite another 60-run stand between Lisa Sthalekar and Karen Rolton, England limited the damage to 163 for five.
Taylor admits England feared the worst: “We were worried when Australia batted. They had two big partnerships and if the openers had carried on we might have been looking at 180.
“In the end we were chasing 164, and if we were setting that’s the sort of total we would have aimed for. There’s always more pressure when you’re chasing, isn’t there?
“I think we’re going to have to play as well again to beat New Zealand. They possess some really good hitters we’ll have to guard against. We’re expecting another close game.”