England: 176-2 (20 overs)
Thailand: 78-7 (20 overs)
Nattakan Chantam 32(53), Naruemol Chaiwai 19(23); Anya Shrubsole 3/21
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Skipper Heather Knight smashed a brilliant century as England absolutely annihilated Thailand, winning the T20I match by 98 runs.
Chasing 177 runs to win, Thailand got off to the worst possible start as Nattaya Boochatam was dismissed by Anya Shrubsole in the first over. Fellow opener Nattakan Chantam top-scored with 32 from 53 balls and tried to accelerate the Thailand innings. However, she failed to do so and so did her team-mates. Thailand thus could score only 78-7 in their quota of 20 overs.
Earlier, Thailand opted to bowl first and started well as England lost both their openers for ducks and were in a spot of bother at 7-2. However, the experienced pairing of Knight and Sciver then consolidated the England innings. The duo added 169 runs for the third wicket and Knight then took the role of the aggressor. She then smashed her first T20I century and Sciver complemented her brilliantly with a well-made 59. England posted a huge score of 176-2 in their 20 overs, thanks to some wonderful batting by Sciver and Knight.
Skipper Heather Knight's fantastic hundred
England were in a spot of bother at 7-2 with both their openers back in the shed for ducks, and with the Thailand bowlers raring to go, Knight came in to bat and strung a crucial partnership with Sciver. The duo first absorbed all the pressure directred at them and then began to feast on the loose balls.
Knight began to attack the Thailand bowlers once she was well set, with Sciver taking the role of a second fiddle. Knight scored an amazing 108 runs in 66 balls which included 13 fours and four sixes. She was ably supported by Sciver who herself scored 59 off 52 balls which included eight fours. Their mammoth partnership of 169 ensured that England reached the highest score of the tournament so far in 176-2.
Anya Shrubsole and other England bowlers dominate Thailand
Thailand's reply was not great as opener Boochatham was cleaned up early by Shrubsole, who has been in fantastic form for England lately. Thailand could not give any momentum whatsoever to their innings and in the end fell short by 98 runs. Shrubsole also picked up the wickets of Thailand skipper Sornnarin Tippoch and then of Onnicha Kamchomphu. She ended up with impressive figures of 3/21. Sciver was also impressive with figures of 2/5 from her two overs.
Knight scored the first century of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup and helped her team from a trickey situation to win the game comfotably in the end. Thus, she was rightly adjudged the Player of the Match.
This is what she said after the game -
"The partnership was the key I think. I caught up and hogged the strike a little bit, and I think that helped us come back into the game and put a decent total on the board. It's hard to keep your standards when you know you've won the game, so quite happy with our fielding and bowling standards. Thailand batters posed slightly different challenges and hit the ball in different areas but it was a clinical performance. We have a game against Pakistan the day after. Every game is a must-win for us now, so we're looking forward to it. It was great to finally get on the board today."Published 26 Feb 2020, 15:02 IST