Sciver, spinners seal the semi-final spot for England

Padmaja Srivatsan
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We would never mankad: Sciver

Natalie Sciver acknowledges the crowd after reaching her fifty. © ICC

England sealed their semi-final spot in the T20 World Cup with an emphatic victory against West Indies by 46 runs in Sydney on Sunday (March 1). England's victory was set up by their talismanic allrounder Natalie Sciver's 57. She played superbly and assessed the conditions well to guide them to 143 before Sophie Ecclestone's three wickets for just seven runs restricted a depleted West Indies to just 97.

Opting to bat first, England's move to send Tammy Beaumont up didn't work as she departed for a two-ball duck with Shakera Selman striking in the first over. England's no.3, Sciver continued her good form and started to attack straightaway scoring boundaries to take the attack to the opposition. After a sedate start, Wyatt too got going and brought the 50-run stand with Sciver, before Selman took an absolute stunner at wide long on to send back Wyatt for 29.

At the halfway stage England got 63 with in-form skipper Heather Knight joining Sciver in the middle. The duo played risk-free cricket and quietly collected the ones and twos. A moment of brilliance in the field by Selman again saw Knight (17) being run-out. Meanwhile, Sciver brought her third fifty of the tournament off 51 balls before she departed for 57.  Amy Jones' cameo of an unbeaten 23 off just 13 balls took England to a total, that was above par.

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In pursuit of 144, Deandra Dottin's (9) poor run continued as she chipped one straight to Sciver at mid-wicket giving Sophie Ecclestone her first wicket. The first real intent to score was provided by Stafanie Taylor when she crunched back-to-back boundaries off Katherine Brunt in the last over of the power play. An unfortunate groin strain saw her retire hurt.

Sarah Glenn then struck twice to dismiss Hayley Matthews (10) and Chedean Nation (0). Lee-Ann Kirby and Britney Cooper provided some entertainment by scoring some boundaries but it was a tall ask.

Ecclestone, during her three for seven, also picked up 50 T20I wickets.

Brief scores: England 143/5 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 57, Danielle Wyatt 29; Shakera Selman 1/23) beat West Indies 97/9 in 17.1 overs (Lee-Ann Kirby 20; Sophie Ecclestone 3/7, Sarah Glenn 2/16) by 46 runs. PoTM: Natalie Sciver