Hefty win as England power on
England women's bowlers prevented Pakistan getting anywhere near a 124-run target as they completed their ICC World Twenty20 group matches in Taunton with a 63-run victory and 100 per cent record.
They now progress to face Australia in the second semi-final on Friday, but coach Mark Lane with have some concerns about England's middle order, which again failed to click in to gear as 43 from captain Charlotte Edwards provided the mainstay of their disappointing 123 all out.
Put in to bat, the world champions saw opener Edwards make 43 from 32 balls. Aside from 27 by Lydia Greenway there was little else to provide comfort ahead of a match-up with the Aussies at The Oval.
A trio of untidy run outs, five in total in the innings, added to an uneasy feeling around another decent crowd at the Home of Women's Cricket, as the pre-event favourites still seem to rely heavily on their top three to perform.
In similar fashion to their victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday, whatever score England posted they never looked likely to let their opponents get a sniff of an upset once Isa Guha, Nicky Shaw, Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh got the ball in their hands.
Colvin (3-18) had a hand in the first three wickets to fall, as Pakistan only managed 36 inside their first 10 overs. Her smart catch off Marsh removed Bismah Maroof (13), while she bowled Marina Iqbal (eight) and had Nain Abidi lbw for three.
Guha put in a late bid for catch of the opening stages as she dived full length on the run at deep square-leg to send Sajida Shah (10) packing, while Beth Morgan threw down the stumps from mid-off to remove Asmavia Iqbal (one). Jenny Gunn finished Pakistan off on 60 with two stumps-flattened clean-bowled dismissals in the 17th over.
It was another good team performance in the field from England, more tidy bowling figures across the board, and a predictable Pakistan demise. But anyone anticipating a big score from the hosts had been disappointed, as Pakistan's seven bowlers used provided enough variety and deception to keep England guessing at the crease.
Sarah Taylor (16) played and missed at an off-stump yorker from Urooj Mumtaz Khan to go lbw for 16, and namesake Claire (nine) holed out to Abidi at mid-off off the same bowler to leave England 61 for two in the eighth.
Morgan (two) failed to pick Javeria Khan and saw her middle stump uprooted, and having been 71 for three at the midway point, England lost Edwards as she top-edged trying to cut Sana Mir and was caught behind by Batool Fatima.
The first run-out mishap saw Greenway attempt a single that was never there to mid-on and run Gunn out for four. Greenway powered Mir over the midwicket boundary for six to make some amends, but then gave Sajida a simple caught and bowled.
Worse followed as Shaw (11 not out) was involved in two silly run outs in consecutive balls. Caroline Atkins (three) turned one to square leg but did not notice Shaw bounding towards her and had no chance of making the non-striker's end. Colvin (nought) was nowhere near getting back for second as Nain Abidi threw in strongly from the covers.
The lack of composure was further exposed in a scrambled final over as Marsh (two) became the fourth run-out victim, and then Guha went off the final delivery without facing a ball.