England ease past India
England women maintained their 100% record in the NatWest Quadrangular T20 with a convincing 46-run victory over India in their final group game at Taunton.
With England having already secured their place in tomorrow’s final and India unable to qualify, there was little more than pride riding on this fixture.
However, skipper Charlotte Edwards will surely take heart from seeing her side record another triumph, particularly after they failed to hit top form with the bat.
Claire Taylor was the only player to truly impress, with a well-paced innings of 66 from 46 balls, as England battled to 134 all out from 19.5 overs. However, any fears that the total would prove within their opponents’ reach were quickly dispelled.
India were unable to keep up with the required run-rate from the outset and finished well short on 88 for eight, despite some impressive late hitting from the lower middle-order.
Danielle Wyatt, who had contributed a fluent 23 earlier in the match, claimed 2-20 from four overs, while Laura Marsh effected two run-outs with accurate throws from the deep.
England will now take on Australia, who they beat by 22 runs at Bristol yesterday, in the final after Jodie Fields’ team defeated New Zealand by six wickets this afternoon.
Man-of-the-match Taylor said: "It was great to be able to contribute to the win today. I’m looking forward to the final against Australia tomorrow, we’ll need to play an all-round good game of cricket to beat them."
England, who recalled Danielle Hazell in place of the injured Anya Shrubsole, struggled to get going in the early stages of their innings and lost openers Edwards and Marsh in the second over of the match.
After getting off the mark with a clip through midwicket for four, Edwards played on as she looked to force Snehal Pradhan through the off side.
Marsh fell for a first-ball duck to the same bowler soon after when she nicked a wide, swinging ball through to wicketkeeper Anagha Deshpande.
It was left to Wyatt, batting at three, to provide some impetus with a powerful 16-ball cameo containing four fours.
The all-rounder was fortunate not to be dismissed on 13 when she failed to beat a direct hit at the non-striker's end, only for the fielding side not to appeal.
Two impressive boundaries off Pradhan followed, but Wyatt’s innings was brought to an end as she provided Amita Sharma with a simple return catch.
Lydia Greenway was caught behind off the next ball after driving with limited foot movement and, when Sarah Taylor was run out after being sent back by her namesake, England were wobbling on 65 for five in the 10th over.
However, Claire Taylor held England’s innings together in intelligent fashion, scoring at better than a run-a-ball without ever taking undue risk, and brought up her half-century with a crunching straight drive off Diana David.
Arran Brindle provided useful support in a sixth-wicket stand of 55, but her dismissal in the 17th over sparked a late collapse that saw the final five wickets fall for just 14 runs.
Brindle was caught at midwicket off David and Goswami then struck three times in one over; striking Taylor’s leg-stump with an inswinging yorker before trapping Jenny Gunn lbw and having Holly Colvin caught at backward point for the third golden duck of England’s innings.
When Hazell squirted the penultimate delivery of the innings from Pradhan to point, England appeared to be short of a par score, but they quickly took control when India came out to bat.
Katherine Brunt had Deshpandi dropped by Sarah Taylor in the first over and it was not until the final ball of the next set of six, bowled by Marsh, that India got off the mark courtesy of a leg-side wide.
Brunt eventually ended Deshpandi’s torturous stay in the fifth over, when the opener was late on a pull shot and chipped tamely to Colvin at midwicket.
Marsh then accounted for the dangerous Mithali Raj with a fine throw from deep midwicket and debutant Neha Tanwar was caught behind off a flighted delivery from Wyatt, with Sarah Taylor also removing the bails for a stumping to make sure of the dismissal.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals thereafter and Harmanpreet Kaur swept a Colvin full-toss to short fine-leg before an excellent piece of fielding from Marsh removed Veda Krishnamurthy.
Wyatt was denied a second scalp when the usually reliable Lydia Greenway dropped Priyanka Roy at deep midwicket, but the off-spinner then bowled Sharma, who had been lucky to survive when another impressive piece of work in the field from Marsh found her short of her ground.
By this stage, England were already assured of victory and Hazell had David caught at midwicket before Goswami, who clubbed 11 from nine deliveries, became the final wicket to fall, caught in the deep by Brunt off Brindle.
In the day's other game, Leah Poulton's 61 helped Australia ease to a target of 147 against New Zealand with 13 balls to spare.
Liz Perry had contributed 50 for New Zealand in their total of 146 for six.