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England Women made a comeback from their opening match defeat against Indian Women, as they secured their first victory in the ongoing 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup after beating Pakistan Women by a comfortable 107-run margin (D/L method) in the rain-marred clash at the Grace Road (Leicester) on Tuesday.
After winning the toss, Pakistan Women skipper Sana Mir decided to bowl first. With the help of two centuries by the captain Heather Knight (106 runs) & Natalie Sciver (137 runs) and some middle order’s firework contributions, England Women put a mammoth total of 377/7 at the end of 50 overs.
Starting to chase down the target with more than 7.5 required run-rate, Pakistan Women’s approach was very negatively uncompetitive. Before the rain forced to stop the play, the Asian Giants only managed to score 107/3 in 29.2 overs. As the match was not restarted again, England Women won by 107 runs through the D/L method, as Pakistan Women’s required target was 215 runs in the same situation.
Earlier in the first innings, the hosts lost their both openers at the early stage, as the England women were 42/2 just before the end of the first powerplay. But after that, Knight and Sciver took the responsibilities to construct the innings, as they put a brilliant 213-run partnership for the third wicket. However, both played quite differently, as Knight was busy to reconstruct the innings with steadily while Sciver was batting in aggressive nature.
Sciver completed her half-century in just 35 balls while she completed her maiden ODI century in just 76-ball. The best part of her innings during England Women’s 40th over, was when she hit three consecutive sixes. On the other hand, skipper Knight completed her first ever ODI century in 105 balls with a boundary. Soon after, she was caught at the wide long-off position. But that not affected in their runs flow, as Danielle Wyatt took the next step.
In the addition, Wyatt’s powerful unbeaten 42-run innings off just 27 balls and a cameo from Fran Wilson (33 off 19 balls) helped the hosts to score the second highest total in the ICC Women’s World Cup history. Wyatt and Wilson put a destructive sixth wicket partnership for 59 off just 35 balls.
In the Pakistan Women’s bowling line-up, only the right-arm pacer Asmavia Iqbal’s figure was looking some respectable, as her bowling figure was 10-1-62-3. Meanwhile, another right-arm pacer Kainat Imtiaz claimed two wickets but she conceded 68-runs in her nine-over spell, whereas, skipper Sana Mir and Nashra Sandhu both picked up one wicket each with the above eight economy rate.
In reply, opener Nahida Khan (3 runs) was sent back to the pavilion in the very first delivery of the third over during the innings. Sciver took the catch at midwicket in Katherine Brunt’s delivery. Javeria Khan (11 runs) was next to be dismissed, as she was bowled by Brunt, as Pakistan Women were 26/2 in 8.4 overs.
Asmavia Iqbal stood on the crease for almost next 10 overs but scored only five runs off 20 balls before the left-arm spinner Alex Hartley trapped her for the lbw dismissal. Opener Ayesha Zafar and no. five batswoman Nain Abidi was trying to build the innings but those remained unaffected. Zafar completed her half-century in 67 balls, as she remained unbeaten on 56 runs off 77 balls. In the meantime, Abidi remained unbeaten on 23 runs off 43 balls before the rain intercepted.
Brief Scores: England Women – 377/7 in 50 overs (Natalie Sciver 137 runs, Heather Knight 106 runs, Asmavia Iqbal 3/62) vs Pakistan Women – 107/3 in 29.2 overs (Ayesha Zafar 56*, Nain Abidi 23*, Katherine Brunt 2/21)
Result – England Women won by 107 runs (D/L method)
Player of the match – Natalie Sciver