Wednesday, June 19, 2024

ICC: Knight – England grateful to have three ‘world-class’ spinners

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Photo Credit: ICC

England captain Heather Knight hailed her three ‘world-class’ spinners after they wreaked havoc in England’s four-wicket ICC Women’s T20 World Cup victory over Ireland.

Sophie Ecclestone (3/13), Sarah Glenn (3/19) and Charlie Dean (2/26) were irresistible as England marched to their second victory of the tournament, taking spot top spot in Group 2.  

They did not have it all their own way in reply with another spinner, Cara Murray (3/15), impressing for Ireland, but England got over the line with time to spare after Alice Capsey hit the joint-fastest 50 at an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.  

And victorious skipper Knight was pleased to see both departments given a thorough examination ahead of a crunch game against India on Saturday.

“Ireland came at us quite hard, which was good,” she said.  

“The spinners brought it back. It was a pitch that was really conducive to the spinners and we’ve got three world-class spinners in our line up.

“It’s really nice to have the different options, leg-spin, left-arm and off-spin.  

“They’ve done a great job for us in conditions that were obviously quite helpful for them and Alice broke the back of the chase which made it a lot easier.

“We made hard work of it at the end but have come away with two points and move onto the next game against India.”

This is England’s first major tournament since Jon Lewis was appointed head coach in November. 

Though his tenure is still in its relative infancy, one of the hallmarks of Lewis’ philosophy seems to be a highly aggressive approach with the bat, especially in the powerplay, which Knight believes will be key to any future success.  

“I think in T20 you have no room for doubt,” she said. “You always need to take the aggressive option and be really free and I think that’s a bit of a mantra we have as a group right now.  

“We want to take the game on and be free and particularly at the top of the order, we feel like we have the depth to go hard at the top, attack the powerplay and try and get ahead of the game.  

“That’s the main thing, put the opposition under pressure and then go from there.”  

Ireland were left to rue a batting collapse which saw their chances of posting a highly competitive total fall away in their first outing of the tournament.

Having started brightly thanks to Gaby Lewis (36) and cameos from Amy Hunter (15) and Orla Prendergast (17), Ireland lost their final eight wickets for just 25 runs.

In spite of that, captain Laura Delany remains upbeat about her side’s chances of picking up positive results.

“We’re disappointed to come out with a loss but fair play to England, they outplayed us in both innings,” she said.  

“There are definitely positives to take from both innings but we just want to make sure we put together big partnerships in our next game, that’s one of the things we are going to target.  

“Our top three have batted with great intent over the last three or four games and now the next step is to make sure we keep that momentum going so we can give the middle order a platform to kick on at the end.” 

There was vast support for Ireland in the stands throughout the match and Delany hopes they can use that to their advantage, starting with a crucial match against Pakistan on Wednesday.  

“It’s brilliant to have family away from home, particularly at World Cups,” said Delany.  

“They are so noisy in the stands and it’s great to have them supporting us.  

“We are looking forward to playing against Pakistan. We have targets we want to set in that game. We just want to keep building on each performance and learn as much as we can.” 

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