Women's Cricket: England find energy for cruise control

England Women 376-2 Pakistan Women 146-3 England win by 230 runs
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The Independent Online
On Thursday morning England got up at 3.30, and caught a 5.30 train ride seven hours long to this unprepossessing industrial town. In their hotel, the noise in some rooms of mysterious machinery was so loud that the floor shook. Cockroaches were sighted, there was a potent smell of rancid fat, and during the night several players reported people rattling and banging at their bolted doors. their general reaction? "It could be worse."

Yesterday morning, England set a new record womens' World Cup total of 376 for 2 against Pakistan at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium. The second-wicket stand of 203 between Jan Brittin and Barbara Daniels was also a record, passing the 167 set by Australia's Emerson and Kennare against India at New Zealand's Eden Park in 1982.

Britain's 138 came off 124 balls in 150 minutes, and included 17 fours; Daniels needed only 103 balls in 130 minutes for her 142 not out, with 17 fours and one six. The former's knock was a model of patience and classic stroke play; the latter's a dashing and cavalier affair applauded to the hot skies by a crowd topping 4,000.

To be fair, Pakistan must have been even more tired than England. A 500km flight from Mysore to Hyderabad on Thursday was hours late, and preceded seven hours on a bus that arrived here at two in the morning. It is plain that the outcome of this tournament will depend as much on how teams cope with their deranged itineraries as it will on the cricket.

This won't matter to Pakistan, who already beaten by Denmark, have next to no chance of making the quarter-finals. Entirely inexperienced at this level, earlier this year they conceded 445 to New Zealand in 50 overs, and then failed to reach that target by no less than 408. Some here feel that they should not be in the competition at all, that walkovers like these are no good at all for the image of the womens' game.

It is therefore entirely to Pakistan's credit that they did not fold in the afternoon and, indeed, somewhat embarrassed England's attack by managing 146 for the loss of only three wickets before retiring after 47 overs. This will take some of the shine off England's day, after the hoped-for confidence booster went so well in the morning.

Energy levels, meanwhile, looked set for a further knock as well - England's bus left for the long haul back to Hyderabad as soon as they could get away from the ground. Next up, Denmark on Sunday.

Ireland humbled Denmark by nine wickets in a rain-shortened match in their women's World Cup in Madras. Needing only 57 in the reduced 23 overs, Irish captain Miriam Grealey, batting third, was in aggressive mood and led her team to the target in 19.1 overs.

ENGLAND

J Brittin st Asma b Shaiza 138

H Plimmer st Asma b Kiran 36

B Daniels not out 142

S Metcalfe not out 35

Extras (b4, lb6, w14, nb1) 25

Total (for 2, 50 overs) 376

Fall: 1-83, 2-286.

Did not bat: J Cassar, K Smithies, M Reynard, B Nicholson, C Connor, C Taylor, L MacLeod.

Bowling: Shareen 10-0-64-0; Maliha 9-0-67-0; Shaiza 9-0-64-1; Kiran 10- 0-73-1; Nazia 5-0-45-0; Mehera 7-0-53-0.

PAKISTAN

Maliha b Reynard 13

Shaiza c & b Reynard 41

Kiran b Connor 22

Shareen not out 35

Asma not out 13

Extras (b5, lb4, w12, nb1) 22

Total (for 3, 47 overs) 146

Fall: 1-67, 2-76, 3-122.

Did not bat: Nazia, Mehera, Diba, Shazia, Sadia, Nazia.

Bowling: Taylor 7-3-15-0; MacLeod 5-2-12-0; Reynard 10-4-36-2; Connor 10-2-14-1; Smithies 7-1-33-0; Nicholson 8-1-27-0.

England win by 230 runs.

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