Women's Twenty20: Guha's blast helps England surge into the semi-finals

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The Independent Online

England beat Sri Lanka by 71 runs at Taunton yesterday to book their place in the semi-finals of the ICC Women's World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka could muster only 69 for 8 in reply to England's 140 for 7, the hosts staying top of Group B following their 10-wicket win over India on Thursday.

England captain Charlotte Edwards, awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list on Saturday, made just one but No 3 Claire Taylor held the innings together with an unbeaten 75 from 54 balls, including 11 boundaries. Sri Lanka seamer Eshani Kaushalya did the damage with the ball, taking 4 for 18.

But England immediately had the visitors in big trouble in their reply, reducing them to 12 for 3 with pace bowler Isa Guha taking two wickets for just four runs in her four overs, two of which were maidens.

In yesterday's other match, Australia bounced back from their trouncing by New Zealand on Friday to beat West Indies by eight wickets.

West Indies, who also lost to New Zealand yesterday following a narrow opening win over South Africa, have completed their group campaign and are almost certainly out of contention.

Australia, who play Sri Lanka in their final group game on Tuesday, easily passed a target of 135 for 8 with 16 balls to spare.

Opener Deandra Dottin hit nine fours and a six in her 53 from only 25 balls, but the support was not there in the West Indies' total.

Shelley Nitschke put Australia on the way to victory with 56 at the top of the order.