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Were turnovers the Achilles Heel of the Sunshine Girls' world cup campaign?

By July 15, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Knight century leads England to towering Thailand triumph Knight century leads England to towering Thailand triumph

    Heather Knight’s majestic maiden T20I century helped England to a record-breaking 98-run victory over Thailand in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

    The England skipper led an emphatic response to defeat against South Africa, blasting 108 from 66 balls to become the fourth batter to make a hundred at the event and send records tumbling.

    England’s total of 176 for two was their highest T20I total and Knight’s unbeaten third-wicket stand of 169 with Nat Sciver was the highest partnership for any wicket in Women’s T20 World Cup history.

    Thailand managed 78 for seven from their 20 overs, with England’s victory by 98 runs the largest winning margin at the tournament.

    All this was scarcely conceivable after a remarkable start to the game with the 2009 winners were reduced to seven for two, both England openers dismissed for ducks for just the second time in T20Is.

    Nattaya Boochatham, leading T20I wicket-taker in the world in 2019, sparked wild celebrations as her arm ball beat a charging Amy Jones and she was stumped second ball.

    Opening partner Danni Wyatt then perished for a golden duck, slicing Soraya Lateh to cover point where Wongpaka Liengprasert dived forward to take an excellent catch.

    Just as in their defeat to the Proteas in Perth, Sciver combined security with expansive stroke play to grasp the impetus, scoring her third half-century in four innings.

    Knight showed similar restraint and punished medium-pacer Chanida Sutthiruang when she strayed leg side, twice hooking to the boundary as the pair raced to a 50 stand from 34 balls.

    Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd over backward square for six to reach her half-century from 34 balls, another expertly-judged sweep notching up the 100 stand in the 15th over.

    The England captain moved past 90, lifting Liengprasert over long-on in an over that cost 17, and became the fourth England player to reach three figures with a cut for two in the final over.

    Knight has a remarkable record at Manuka Oval, with all four of her T20I 50+ scores coming in Australia’s capital, the most of any woman at a single venue in the format.

    Her side posted an imposing 176 for two and it took just four balls of the Thai reply to strike, Anya Shrubsole jagging one back through Boochatham’s defences and trapping her lbw for 0.

    Natthakan Chantam impressed with her power through the off-side, driving Katherine Brunt handsomely to the cover boundary and then cutting Sciver to the fence inside the Powerplay.

    With the fielding restrictions relaxed, the flow of runs ground to a virtual halt with 12 runs coming from five overs from spinners Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Knight.

    Ecclestone’s metronomic accuracy was rewarded with the second wicket as her quicker one foxed Chantam and pinned her in front for 32 from 53 balls.

    Wickets tumbled with Sciver pouching two in an over as Nannapat Khoncharoenkai was bowled slashing across the line and Sutthiruang found mid-on.

    Shrubsole returned to remove Thailand skipper Sornarrin Tippoch, stumped off a wide for one, before Liengprasert was run out by the seamer to make it 62 for six.

    England's resounding victory was capped when Shrubsole forced Onnicha Kamchomphu to chip to mid-off from the penultimate delivery.

     

    Scores in brief

     

    England beat Thailand by 98 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

     

    England 176-2, 20 overs (Heather Knight 108 not out, Nat Sciver 59 not out; Nattaya Boochatham 1-18)

    Thailand 78-7, 20 overs (Natthakan Chantham 32; Anya Shrubsole 3-21, Nat Sciver 2-5)

  • Du Preez the hero for South Africa on 100th T20I appearance Du Preez the hero for South Africa on 100th T20I appearance

    Mignon du Preez celebrated her 100th T20I appearance in style by hitting back-to-back boundaries to help South Africa beat England in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener.

    Nat Sciver’s half-century proved to be in vain at the WACA as England lost to South Africa for the first-time in the 20-over tournament.

    A three-wicket haul from Ayabonga Khaka and two apiece for Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp prevented Lisa Keightley’s side from building momentum with the bat.

    And the Van Niekerk and Kapp pairing shone again at the crease, combining for 84 to lay the foundations for Chloe Tryon (12) and Du Preez (18 not out) to wrap up the win in a thrilling finish in Perth.

    Amy Jones got England off to a blistering start with four boundaries in the first three overs but Kapp ensured her stint was short-lived as the opener was caught at mid-off for 23 by Tryon.

    It didn’t take long for the Proteas to strike again as Danni Wyatt was dismissed for two off Khaka’s first ball of the tournament, Lizelle Lee with the diving catch at backward point.

    England’s batting woes continued with the introduction of van Niekerk’s spin, the South Africa captain dismissing opposite number Heather Knight who tried to hit her over the top, only to be brilliantly caught by Shabnim Ismail at long-on.

    The middle-order pairing of Sciver and Fran Wilson were under pressure to accelerate the innings but only managed to push on to 72 before Wilson was dismissed in similar style to Knight to give Van Niekerk figures of two for 20.

    Sciver’s 50 helped England reach three figures but from then on the wickets rapidly fell, Katherine Brunt perishing before the top-scorer was bowled by Khaka.

    It was two quick scalps for Khaka within the over as Tryon snaffled a sharp catch to dismiss Lauren Winfield, before Kapp returned with one last strike to trap Tammy Beaumont lbw to halt England at 123 for eight.

    England made up for the late wicket crumble by inflicting damage onto their opponents early, Lizelle Lee perishing for four when lofting Anya Shrubsole straight to Winfield in the circle.

    Kapp and Van Niekerk produced an 84-run partnership for the second wicket to keep the Proteas ticking along, but England managed to up the required rate.

    First, Kapp was caught and bowled by Women’s T20 World Cup debutant Sarah Glenn for 38 before Beaumont denied van Niekerk a 50 when she caught the skipper off Ecclestone with four overs to play.

    A late attack from Tryon made for a nervous ending at the WACA and England may have thought they were safe when she was bowled by Ecclestone’s last delivery.

    But two big hits from Du Preez off Brunt sealed a maiden win for the Proteas over England in the tournament, marking the perfect start to their campaign in Group B.

     

    Scores in brief

    South Africa beat England by six wickets, WACA Ground, Perth

    England 123-8, 20 overs (Nat Sciver 50; Ayabonga Khaka 3-25, Marizanne Kapp 2-19)

    South Africa 127-4, 19.4 overs (Dane van Niekerk 46, Marizanne Kapp 38; Sophie Ecclestone 2-19)

  • Owen Farrell insists pumped-up England paid no attention to outside pressure Owen Farrell insists pumped-up England paid no attention to outside pressure

    Owen Farrell insists England's rip-roaring start in their Six Nations win over Ireland was not a response to any outside pressure.

    England began their campaign with a poor showing in a defeat against France in Paris before grinding out a victory over Scotland amid tough Edinburgh conditions in round two.

    Back at Twickenham against an Ireland side who had started with two wins from two, England earned a deserved 24-12 triumph over a visiting team coached by Farrell's father Andy.

    Eddie Jones' men had come under scrutiny following a mixed start, while the head coach was initially questioned and subsequently vindicated for his decision to move centre Jonathan Joseph to the wing and continue with flanker Tom Curry at number eight.

    "It's pressure from everybody else, not us," England captain Farrell said when asked about the outside voices.

    "We're unbelievably happy with how things are in-house. We feel we are getting better and couldn't wait to play this game.

    "I think you saw that from the way we started the game. It's nothing to do with anyone on the outside. We are giving ourselves lots of confidence to rip in come kick-off."

    England were boosted by the return of powerhouse centre Manu Tuilagi, a player Farrell feels would make a difference to any team in world rugby.

    "You don't need me to tell you [how important he is]," Farrell added.

    "Any team in the world would want him by your side, we're lucky to have him. He's playing brilliant rugby."

    England led 17-0 at the break with George Ford and Elliot Daly the beneficiaries of some shoddy Ireland defending, while Luke Cowan-Dickie touched down from an England drive in the second half.

    Part of England's success owed to their dominance of the forwards, with the returning Courtney Lawes earning the man-of-the-match award.

    "We knew Ireland were on good form and we came out flying, we put an emphasis on that all week. It was great to get out here with the boys," Lawes said.

    "Any chance I get to put on the shirt, especially at my old age, I relish it. We just want to keep building, the goal is to be the best team the world has ever seen."

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