Heather Knight hails team effort as England reach Women’s World T20 final

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Captain Heather Knight hailed England’s composure as they recorded a convincing eight-wicket win over India to reach the Women’s World T20 final.

Australia await England in Saturday’s final, with Knight hoping it will be third time lucky having gone down to the Southern Stars at the same stage in 2012 and 2014.

Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver were both on fine form, scoring half-centuries and guiding England to a win in North Sound with 17 balls to spare.

England bowled India out for 112 after making light work of the Indian lower order.

“The way our spinners bowled was outstanding,” Knight said, according to the ICC’s website.

“It was a tricky wicket for the batters, that partnership from the two girls, the composure, the plans we practised, we countered India pretty well.

“The final is going to be a great game, hopefully we’ll have a great atmosphere and a brilliant game of cricket.”

Jones (53) reached her half-century as she hit the winning boundary off Anukja Patil, while Sciver was unbeaten on 52 as their third-wicket partnership took England to victory.

Jones, voted player of the match, said: “We wanted to stay relaxed, just wanted to be there at the end basically.

“Playing (the late game) gives you a lot of thinking time and we were thinking about it, planning on how to play their high-quality spinners, and the plans worked.”

India won the toss and opted to bat, but struggled to press on after Smriti Mandhana (34) and Jemimah Rodrigues (26) fell.

Rodrigues’ wicket left India on 89 for three in the 14th over and England were quick to mop up, with Knight taking two wickets in as many balls to end the 17th over but electing not to bowl the 19th over when on a hat-trick.

The final three wickets fell for seven runs as India were all out for 112.

Kirstie Gordon had two for 20 in her four overs, while Sophie Ecclestone also picked up a pair of wickets.

India had an early breakthrough, Tammy Beaumont holing out to straight mid-wicket for one.

Her fellow opener Danni Wyatt was caught at deep midwicket for eight in the fifth over as England lagged slightly behind their required run rate.

Sciver and Jones put on a 92-run partnership to seal the win, but it could have been very different had Patil not dropped the former in the sixth over.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said she had no regrets over dropping Mithali Raj, the experienced batter who has 107 runs in the tournament.

She said: “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. England bowled really well, read the wicket really well.

“It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well. We stretched the match till the 18th over.”

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