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England script triumph in first T20I after shaky start

Birmingham, 11 May 2024: England Women beat Pakistan Women by 53 runs on the back of a solid bowling performance in the first T20I at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Pakistan’s pursuit of the 164-run target was jolted by the wicket of Sidra Amin in the third over after her opening partner, Gull Feroza, had set the tone with two boundaries in the first over. Sadaf Shamas joined Feroza in the middle and took the fourth over by storm, cracking five boundaries off Danielle Gibson’s bowling.

Pakistan finished the powerplay with 57-2 on the board before the English bowlers struck at regular intervals. Apart from Sadaf’s 24-ball 35 comprising seven boundaries, there wasn’t much resistance as Pakistan lost the last eight wickets for a mere 44 runs.

Leg-spinner Sarah Glenn was at her destructive best dismissing four batters for just 12 runs in her four overs. Lauren Bell picked up three wickets. Charlie Dean and Sophie Ecclestone struck once each.

After opting to bowl first, Pakistan had England under pressure as Waheeda Akhtar and Sadia Iqbal dismissed the English opening batters cheaply. Waheeda returned in the third over to add to England’s woes by getting rid of Alice Capsey followed by the run-out of Freya Kemp leaving them reeling at 11-4.

Skipper Heather Knight (49, 44b, 6x4s) and Amy Jones (37, 27b, 6x4s) did the rescue work for their team by stitching a fluent 67-run fifth-wicket partnership. Following Jones’ departure, Gibson’s timely onslaught put Pakistan bowlers on the backfoot as she ransacked eight boundaries in her unbeaten 21-ball 41.

The seventh-wicket unbeaten stand of 44 between Gibson and Ecclestone (19 not out, 11b, 3x4s) helped propel England’s score to 163-6 in 20 overs. Waheeda and Sadia picked up two wickets apiece.

Scores in brief:

England beat Pakistan by 53 runs

England Women 163-6, 20 overs (Heather Knight 49, Danielle Gibson 41 not out, Amy Jones 37; Waheeda Akhtar 2-20, Sadia Iqbal 2-30)

Pakistan Women 110 all out, 18.2 overs (Sadaf Shamas 35, Fatima Sana 16 not out; Sarah Glenn 4-12, Lauren Bell 3-22)

Player of the match: Amy Jones (England Women)

2nd T20I - 17 May, Northampton

3rd T20I - 19 May, Leeds