England smash record score for Women’s T20 World Cup in crushing win over Pakistan

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England will go into the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals buoyed by a perfect group stage after it was rounded off with a record-breaking victory over Pakistan at Newlands on Tuesday.

Led by half-centuries from Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danni Wyatt, England shattered the record for the highest total in the competition’s history, their 213-for-five surpassing South Africa’s 195-for-three against Thailand in Canberra three years ago.

Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Charlie Dean then took two wickets apiece as Jon Lewis’s side secured top spot in Group 2 with a 114-run victory, also a record for the biggest winning margin in tournament history.

The result, a fourth win on the spin, means England avoid a semi-final meeting with Australia and will instead face either New Zealand or hosts South Africa in the last-four on Friday.

Opener Wyatt, short of runs so far in the tournament, was unperturbed by the early departures of Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey as she struck seven fours and twice cleared the ropes before being caught off Tuba Hassan for 59 off 33 balls.

By then, Nat Sciver-Brunt had already begun to motor and at one point looked well on course to reach three figures, which would have seen her join captain Heather Knight, Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan as the only English players to score centuries in all three formats.

Slightly starved of the strike late on, however, the all-rounder went on to finish unbeaten on 81 off 40 balls - an innings that included 13 boundaries and, remarkably, just three dot balls - as wicketkeeper batter Amy Jones (47 off 31) continued her fine form in the finisher role, the pair sharing a century stand broken only by Jones’ dismissal from the last ball of the innings.

Without injured captain Bismah Mahroof, Pakistan, for their part, were ragged in the field and ceded five penalty runs when wicketkeeper Sidra Nawaz dropped the ball on her own discarded glove, while Jones was twice hit in the midriff by no-balls from Fatima Sana, who also took two wickets but was fortunate not to be taken off.

England had made one change to their bowling attack, with Freya Davies replacing the rested Lauren Bell and Katherine Sciver-Brunt keeping her place despite a poor display in Saturday’s victory over India.

The seamer responded with the early breakthrough, having opener Sadaf Shamas caught behind off the second ball of the reply and, reduced to 39-for-five before the halfway stage, the Pakistan innings looked unlikely to go the distance.

Lower order resistance led by Hassan, who top-scored with 28, at least saw Pakistan exit the tournament batting out their full quota, finishing on 99-for-nine as spinner Sophie Ecclestone took her eighth wicket of the campaign with the final ball.