Edwards bowled over
England produced their best bowling display of this Women’s World Twenty20 in semi-final victory over New Zealand, according to captain Charlotte Edwards.
Edwards’ side won all three group games despite being below their usual high standards with the ball. But today their spinners, in particular, shone on a helpful surface at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium.
Holly Colvin and Danni Wyatt each struck twice as the White Ferns were limited to 93 for eight after Edwards won the toss. The skipper’s 33 from the top of the order then led a chase comfortably completed with seven wickets and 16 balls to spare.
“It’s our best performance with the ball so far,” Edwards said. “We’ve not bowled particularly well but to come out on a quite helpful pitch and bowl that well and keep New Zealand to 93, we’re really chuffed with that.”
England’s bowlers were backed up in the field by three catches, two stumpings and as many run-outs. The first came in the opening over, a wicket-maiden, when Lydia Greenway snared New Zealand captain Suzie Bates from cover-point.
“She’s unbelievable,” Edwards enthused about Greenway, who also held Nicola Brown above her head at deep midwicket. “She sets the standard for our team in the field.
“I thought we were good in the field. We held all our catches and it was just a good all-round effort today.”
Edwards collected the match award for her 37-ball innings, which featured five fours - one less than the White Ferns managed.
New Zealand’s attack, like England’s, was dominated by spin but Edwards and Greenway scored smoothly while Laura Marsh and Sarah Taylor rotated the strike effectively.
That they did was a mark of distinction between the teams, who had to adapt after playing their group games on a faster track at Galle.
“It was a lot harder, a lot slower, it turned a lot more and you had to attack the spinners a little bit more,” Edwards observed. “It was tough, it turned, but I’m really pleased we got over the line and we’re in a world cup final.”
Bates admitted her side struggled to make the transition.
“We played in Galle and we were really used to the pace down there. It was a bit slower. We probably didn’t play as good cricket shots as we could on a wicket like this,” she said.
“I think today it was about manoeuvring it. It was tough to hit boundaries on that wicket so we had to get our twos and ones and hit along the ground and get value for our shots there.”
Bates added: “They're the number-one side in the world at the moment - we knew we needed to play well to beat them and we didn’t quite do that. They were the better side today and we wish them all the best for the final.”
Edwards is not bothered whether England will face Australia or West Indies, who meet tomorrow, in Sunday’s showpiece at the Premadasa.
“Not at all,” she said. “We’ve got to beat the best to win this. We’ve come here with one goal in mind, that’s to win this world cup, and whoever we’re going to play we’re happy.”