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England Women vs Sri Lanka Women: England Forge On After Taylor Masterclass

By on June 15, 2009

icc women's world twenty20 - Claire Taylor

England Women won by 71 runs…

World number one batter Claire Taylor produced a match-winning masterclass as England became the first side to reach the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2009 at Taunton on Sunday.

She made 75 not out during the World Cup holder’s innings of 140-7 before the Sri Lankans, hemmed in by a tigerish England fielding display, limped to 69-8 and a 71-run defeat.

The tournament host, with two wins out of two, will top Group B if they beat Pakistan on Tuesday, with a clash against Australia looming in the next round. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will battle it out with India for the other semi-final slot when they meet on Monday.

England, opting to bat against Sri Lanka in front of a hugely enthusiastic crowd of around 3,500, had stuttered nervously to 68-4 in the 13th over before Taylor went into overdrive.

Neat and compact throughout, she stamped her authority on the game in the 16th over with four boundaries, two of them late cuts, off medium-pacer Sripali Weerakkody.

That took her past 50 as well as taking England to three figures. Taylor, who was given one life when only on seven, hit 11 boundaries in all during her 54-ball innings, the last eight coming off the final 14 deliveries of her innings.

“We had talked about trying to score 180 or 200 but some of their bowling was brilliant. They kept pulling these yorkers out.

“I was a little worried with five overs to go and we were well short of par. It was just a matter of seizing the right moment. When I got 16 off an over we thought: ‘Let’s go from here.'”

Earlier England skipper Charlotte Edwards had fallen for a single, while fellow opener Sarah Taylor was the second-highest scorer with 24 off 22 balls.

Sri Lankan medium pacer Eshani Lokusooriya ended with four for 18, three of her wickets coming in a single over as England hit out at the close.

Any dreams Sri Lanka had of an upset were quickly dashed as they were reduced to 12-3.

Fast bowler Jenny Gunn played a key role, running out Chamilka Bandara with a sharp throw from the covers and then diving spectacularly to her right to catch Rose Fernando one-handed.

Sri Lanka were soon struggling on 39-4 after 10 overs but the wickets continued to tumble.

England had lost fast bowler Katherine Brunt before the start, when she was hit in the face by a ball during the warm-up. An X-ray revealed heavy bruising but no break.

She was replaced by medium pacer Isa Guha, who responded with memorable figures of 4-2-4-2.

Naveed Nawaz, Sri Lanka’s consultant coach, looking forward to the game against India, said: “The way we are playing at the moment we can do anything on our day. I just hope that our batters will click. I’m very confident about the bowling and fielding, although I wish the catching was better.”

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