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Edwards et al seal last-four spot

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Skipper Charlotte Edwards followed up a fine all-round bowling performance as England cruised into the Women’s World Twenty20 semi-finals by virtue of a resounding victory over India.

India were left rueing their decision to bat after being restricted to 116 for six by a disciplined fielding effort despite Poonam Raut’s 51.

Edwards then struck 50 not out, while Laura Marsh chipped in with 39 and Sarah Taylor an unbeaten 25 - from just 15 balls - as England cruised home by nine wickets with 3.5 overs to spare.

Edwards, who became the first woman to pass 1,500 T20I runs during her innings, said: “I'm delighted with the win today and to be through to the semi-finals.

Charlotte Edwards

Skipper Charlotte Edwards followed up her bowlers' impressive efforts, striking a fifty to take England to an eight-wicket win over India

“We bowled and fielded well to restrict a good Indian side; we batted really well on a great pitch and Laura and I were really pleased to make a positive start to the chase.

“The wicket was great today; the ground staff did a good job to get us on after the rain this morning.

“We've come into this tournament fully prepared and all of us have been training really hard. We bat right down the order and back all our team in these conditions. I'm looking forward to the game on Monday; it's always exciting playing Australia.”

The 2009 champions started outstandingly with the ball, Amita Sharma edging the ever-threatening Katherine Brunt behind for just two.

Raut and skipper Mithali Raj rebuilt thereafter, though some would argue they did more harm than good as neither was able to score quickly.

That fact was made all the more frustrating when, soon after passing her half-century, Raut fell to Marsh.

England continued to pile on the pressure; Arran Brindle got rid of Harmanpreet Kaur for three, Holly Colvin accounted for Jhulan Goswami - who had struck a six in scoring 10 - and Nagarajan Niranjana fell to Marsh cheaply.

Raj remained yet was unable to really kick on before being run out off the final delivery.

Chasing a modest total meant Edwards could enjoy the luxury of just trying to bat through the innings - something she duly took advantage off.

While opening partner Marsh played the more expansive strokes - she hit five fours and a six in an impressive 35-delivery stay - Edwards found the boundary six times in scoring just shy of a run a ball.

The only blemish in the reply was Reema Malhotra having Marsh stumped - though that merely heralded the arrival of Taylor, who thrilled the crowd by finding the boundary four times during an enterprising knock.

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