Scintillating Knight too good for Thailand

Padmaja Srivatsan
26 Feb 2020
The 'Knight' who doesn't need the shining armour

England captain Heather Knight in action. © Getty Images

After losing the first game, England bounced back in style defeating Thailand by 98 runs in their T20 World Cup encounter at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday (February 26). The margin of defeat was biggest in terms of numbers in the history of the event. Skipper Heather Knight scored her maiden T20I ton and remained unbeaten on 108, thus becoming only the first woman to score centuries in all three formats. After the loss of both the openers early in the inning, Knight along with Natalie Sciver resurrected the England innings with an unbeaten 169-run stand for the fourth wicket and ensured there was only one result possible.

After a spirited performance against West Indies, skipper Sornnarin Tippoch opted to bowl first with Nattaya Boochatham and Soraya Latah sending Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt for ducks. From then on, it was all England as the experienced duo took over the Thailand bowlers all around the park. Sciver, in particular, was looking in sublime form as she was quick to play her shots. England finished the power play on 45 for the loss of two wickets.

Skipper Heather Knight started on a slower note but went on the attack mostly against the Thailand spinners sweeping and cutting the ball nicely. She used her feet well and brought her fourth T20I fifty at Manuka Oval off just 38 balls. The Sciver-Knight combo also registred their maiden 100-run stand of T20 World Cup in the process as England to a total above 150. they eventually finished at 176 for the loss of two wickets.

Knight pressed on the accelerator displaying her wide range of shots and soon brought her maiden hundred off just 63 balls. This was also just the fourth-ever T20 World Cup ton.

In pursuit of a daunting target, Thailand got a poor start losing star batter Boochatham for a duck off Anya Shrubsole in the fourth ball. Nattakan Chantham looked to attack and put pressure on the opposition hitting Shrubsole for a couple of boundaries through off-side.

With the required rate climbing to eight runs an over, Knight rightly rotated her bowlers and did not allow Chantham and Nannapat Koncharoenkai to settle in. The pair could only take singles before the pressure resulted in Chantham departing for a valiant knock of 32. Thereafter, Thailand kept on losing wickets which included Sciver's two in an over. The debutants finally finished at 78 for the loss of seven wickets.

Brief scores: England 176/2 in 20 overs (Heather Knight 108*, Natalie Sciver 59*; Nattaya Boochatham 1/18) beat Thailand 78/7 in 20 overs (Nattakan Chantham 32; Anya Shrubsole 3/21, Natalie Sciver 2/5) by 98 runs. PoTM: Heather Knight.