England march into Super Sixes
Caroline Atkins and Claire Taylor each hit 69 to help England beat India by nine wickets at the North Sydney Oval this morning to seal their place in the Super Six stage of the Women’s World Cup.
A late flurry from India’s number 10 Amita Sharma - who hit 33 off 24 balls, including five boundaries and a six - left England needing 170 for victory.
Sarah Taylor set England on their way with 27 before Atkins and Claire Taylor combined to pass the total with 11.2 overs to spare.
Of the two, Taylor was particularly impressive, racking up her total off just 65 balls with nine fours and England’s solitary six.
Left-arm spinner Holly Colvin was largely responsible for disposing of India as she took 3-22 off 10 overs, while Jenny Gunn picked up 3-50.
Mithali Raj was India’s outstanding batsman, hitting nine boundaries on her way to 59 off 90 balls.
Captain Charlotte Edwards chose to filed first but saw Anagha Deshpande dropped in the first over by Atkins in the slips off Katherine Brunt. She smashed the next delivery for four and continued to dominate, smiting Brunt for six over backward point.
However, Isa Guha rallied England, trapping Anjum Chopra lbw and having Thirush Kamini caught and bowled to leave India nine for two.
Former India captain Raj added 52 with Deshpande before the latter was caught at point by a diving catch from Lydia Greenway off Gunn for 32.
Colvin then took control as India slipped from 92 for four to 110 for seven. She had Rumeli Dhar stumped by Sarah Taylor, Priyanka Roy caught by Greenway at midwicket and Shravanthi Krishnamurthy Naid caught behind without scoring.
Nicola Shaw claimed the seventh wicket, pinning skipper Jhulan Goswami in front for a duck.
Gunn picked up the key wicket of Raj, Greenway again taking the catch at backward point, and added Harmanpreet Kaur - bowled off her inside edge - as India slumped to 126 for nine.
Sharma struck some lusty blows in a record last-wicket partnership of 43 with Gouher Sultana. Edwards bowled Sharma, playing an ugly reverse sweep.
Sarah Taylor and Atkins looked comfortable, finding the boundary regularly to post 47 before Taylor pulled to Kamini at midwicket off Roy for 27.
Atkins and Claire Taylor kept the fours coming, seizing on loose bowling. As England neared their target, Taylor oozed class with a picture-perfect straight six.
England’s final group match is against Pakistan on Thursday at the same venue.