Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight tons lead England to crushing win over Pakistan

Frederick Owens
June 27, 2017

A crowd of 2,169, largely made up of enthusiastic school kids, at Grace Road in Leicester for the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 game between England Women and Pakistan Women on a gloomy Tuesday, was treated to some special batting from Natalie Sciver and Heather Knight during the home team's 107-run win on DLS Method. When the score was 107 for three in 29.2 overs, rain arrived, not allowing any further play possible.

Her cavalier innings overshadowed a beautifully paced 106 by captain Heather Knight as the pair put on 213 for the third wicket, a stand that equalled another record as England dismantled a hopelessly ill-equipped Pakistan attack. But it didn't seem entirely on the cards during a cagey first ten overs, in which England lost both of their openers, Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont, to the erratic but occasionally penetrative swing bowling of Kainat Imtiaz.

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Sciver and Knight, however, took it upon themselves to stamp their authority on the innings. England Women got the advantage of taking three wickets and the opposition's low run-rate of just 3.64 and. England ended up hitting 44 fours and seven sixes. Knight joined her partner with a boundary in the 39th over. Danielle Wyatt (42 not out in 27) and Fran Wilson (33 in 19) also hit some hefty shots down the order as England's outmuscled Pakistan. Katherine Brunt, who had born the brunt of Smriti Mandhana's onslaught in the India match, settled much more quickly into her day's work by extracting two early wickets - Nahida Khan, caught pulling a long-hop to midwicket for 3, and Javeria Khan, brilliantly bowled by devious slower ball for 11.

In pursuit of the second-highest total in the tournament's history - behind Australia's 412 for three against Denmark 20 years ago - Pakistan were never threatening, despite a career-best 56 not out from opener Ayesha Zafar.

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