Women’s World T20I: England inaugurate St. Lucia action with win

Dubai: After its first match got abandoned due to rain, the England women’s cricket team got its International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World T20 campaign up with a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in their group stage at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros Islet, St. Lucia.

On the back of a three-wicket haul by debutant Kirstie Gordon, who was later declared player of the match, England kept Bangladesh to 76 runs for nine, a target that was revised to 64 in 16 overs as another flurry of St Lucian rain interrupted England’s chase.

Reflecting on making her debut and picking valuable wickets, Gordon said, “I didn’t know if I was going to make my debut tonight. Nobody knew if we were going to get a game in. It’s really special to make my debut and to pick up some wickets as well.”

After being bowled out for 46 in their opening game against the West Indies, Bangladesh did only a little better, managing 76 for nine in their twenty overs against England. There were four ducks in their innings, which was propped up by some big-hitting from opener Ayesha Rahman, who scored 39.

In the second innings, England stuttered as they lost their openers in the first three overs, however, Amy Jones rode her luck after she was dropped on 14 runs and went on to score with an unbeaten 28.

As the ninth over approached, rain arrived and shaved England’s target down to 64 of 16, which they knocked off quickly after the interruption.

While talking about the England wickets, Bangladesh skipper Salma Khatun said, “First ball wicket felt really good. I think if it led to two or three wickets more, the match would have been much closer. Especially if we took that catch, and there was a close stumping, it could have been close.”

Meanwhile, in the second game at the same venue, South Africa defeated Sri Lanka, whose first match against England got abandoned due to rain, by seven wickets in its first match of the tournament.

South Africa’s seamers harried the Sri Lankan batters with pace; however, they also conceded 19 wides in the first innings of the game and restricted Sri Lanka to 99 for 8 in their 20 overs.

Shabnim Ismail, who was later declared player of the match, picked three-wickets to keep Sri Lanka under a hundred. South Africa skipper Dane van Neikerk and Marizanne Kapp took a wicket apiece and also shared a 67-run partnership for the third wicket to help South Africa get home in the 19th over.

Reflecting on her performance, Ismail said, “Yeah, I always say myself and Marizanne Kapp go hand in hand with the bowling. I told everyone in the world that we’re the best opening bowling combination, and we complement each other very well. And the way we performed today just displayed our talents out there today.