It hasn’t been the best of preparations for England coming into this ICC World T20 losing Katherine Brunt to injury and the rain washing out their first game. There were still doubts to whether this game would go ahead. Added to some uncertainty as to where the game would take place.
England, however, put that to the back of their minds as they beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets (DLS Method) with 39 balls to spare at the Darren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia.
With practice on the outfield impossible for most of the run-up to this game, England started impressively in the field. Only a wide from Nat Sciver’s sixth ball prevented the first over being scoreless. Bangladesh struggled with the bounce and swing that Sciver and Anya Shrubsole were getting.
Shrubsole made the breakthrough with her third ball with a full in-swinger to Shamima Sultana. When Fargana Hoque was caught behind by Amy Jones Bangladesh were 3 for 2.
Only Ayasha Rhaman managed to score in the runs in the powerplay. Bangladesh entered the last over of the powerplay on 5 for 2. It was Ayasha Raman who helped double the score with one shot as she dispatched Shrubsole through mid-wicket for the first six of the game.
Two of England’s trio of debutants bowled during the middle overs and it was Kirstie Gordon who was the pick of the bowlers. Gordon had an excellent summer with both Nottinghamshire and Loughborough Lightning. Like Linsey Smith, her performances in the Women’s Cricket Super League propelled them into the England Squad.
The second of Gordon’s three wickets was that of Ayasha Rhaman who at that point in the game had scored 39 of Bangladesh’s 42 runs. Ayasha Rhaman’s innings included 3 sixes and 2 fours.
Bangladesh limped to 76 for 9 from their twenty overs. Against West Indies, Bangladesh performed outstandingly in the field. They would have to take wickets early if they were to force their way back into this game.
Danni Wyatt was lbw to the first ball of the innings and when reviewed showed that Wyatt was plumb. England’s batters seemed unsure whether to go for the big shots and get the game finished early or play it safe.
Tammy Beaumont was caught trying to hit over the top for 2. Jones and Sciver were tasked with calming things down. Sciver was at her inventive best and Bangladesh took too long to cut off the sweep shot.
Sciver was eventually stumped for 23 from 17 balls. It allowed Jones and Heather Knight to bat England towards victory. When the rain came England were almost assured of the win. When the players came back onto the field the total was adjusted to just 9 runs for England to win. Knight hit back to back fours before getting the single to win three balls after the restart.
England now go on to play South Africa and West Indies and it will be those games that will dictate who makes the semi-finals.