Women's World Twenty20: Anya Shrubsole on song but top order stumble in victory

India Women 95-9 England Women 98-5 (England win by 5 wickets)
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The Independent Online

After the blip, the response. There is still plenty for England to ponder after recording their first victory in the Women's World Twenty20, but their campaign is at least up and hobbling.

It took them 18.1 overs to pass India's modest total of 95 for 9 in Sylhet and injections of confidence and urgency are required if they are to win the competition for the second time. The bulk of the victory resided in their bowling performance and there was never much doubt that they would secure the win against a side as limited as India have become recently.

Only the veteran star, Mithali Raj, prevented India's complete collapse. Her typically handsome 57 from 56 balls was almost 75 per cent of India's total when she was out. Had she managed to survive till the end instead of being caught on the cover boundary in the 17th over, England's chase might have been more testing.

There was little or nothing wrong with England's opening bowler, Anya Shrubsole, whose excellent form continued with 3 for 6 in four overs. Jenny Gunn also took 3 for 15. But there are fallibilities elsewhere which England need to address quickly if they are to make the final in Dhaka.

The loss of five wickets in what should have been a routine pursuit was concerning enough. But the pedestrian rate on a slow, tired pitch might have cost them dear. It seems that their loss to West Indies in the first match has brought doubts flooding in.

The fitful recent form of Sarah Taylor continued and neither she nor Lydia Greenway could see England home as they might have done. Taylor, eager to exert her authority from the start, was caught and bowled for 28 from 29 balls. It seems clear that she and the captain, Charlotte Edwards, who put on 26 in 21 balls for the first wicket, will have to prosper or England will be in trouble.

Greenway was pedestrian at first but her clever use of the sweep gradually brought the target closer. The stroke proved her downfall when she paddled one to the keeper with England still needing seven.

Nerves had settled on the side and only when Heather Knight turned a ball to backward square for the ninth four of the innings was relief apparent. Gunn immediately hit the 10th off the first ball of the next over and England were home, but still perplexed.