Skipper Knight leads her England team to easy win over Thailand
Captain leads her team from horror start to post the highest total so far at this year's Women’s Twenty20 World Cup
Sydney — England captain Heather Knight smashed the first hundred of the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup to fashion their comprehensive 98-run win against Thailand in a Group B match on Wednesday.
Knight smashed 108 not out and forged a 169-run stand with Natalie Sciver to help England overcome a horror start and post 176/2, the highest total in this year’s tournament so far, at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.
England then returned to restrict Thailand to 78/7 and bounce back from Sunday’s loss to SA with the biggest victory, in terms of runs, in the tournament’s history.
“We were obviously gutted after the performance the other day, so it was really important we came back with a good performance,” Knight said after collecting the player-of-the-match award.
“We just tried to keep it quite simple ... it was about building partnerships, not panicking, staying very calm,” she said of her association with Sciver which yielded the biggest partnership in the tournament’s history.
Put in to bat, England had a horrifying start to the contest which pitted the tournament’s inaugural 2009 champions and its Asian debutantes.
Amy Jones and opening partner Danni Wyatt both fell for ducks, leaving England reeling at 7/2 in the second over. Knight joined Sciver to ensure Thailand, who lost to West Indies on their World Cup debut, did not get another chance to celebrate a dismissal.
Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd for the first six of the England innings in the 13th over and brought up her 50 in the next ball. Spilt on 78 near the ropes, Knight brought up her maiden 20-overs hundred when she scampered for two in the final over of the innings.
Celebration immediately followed as the 29-year-old smashed the next delivery from Chanida Sutthiruang over the long-on boundary for her fourth six. Knight’s 66-ball knock also included 13 boundaries.
Sciver could not be denied her second successive 50 of the tournament either and her 59 not out included eight boundaries.
In the other match, Pakistan upset West Indies by eight wickets, completing a chase with 10 balls to spare after restricting the former champions to 124/7.
Electing to bat, West Indies managed 44/3 in the first 10 overs but milked 81 off the last 10 with skipper Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbell chipping in with 43 each.
Javeria Khan (35) and Muneeba Ali (25) gave Pakistan a strong start and captain Bismah Maroof (39 not out) anchored the chase for a winning start to their campaign.