England, Australia fashion crushing wins
Left-arm spinner Holly Colvin picked four wickets as England beat Pakistan by 43 runs in the Women's World Twenty20 Group A match in Galle. Colvin struck in her first over, followed it up with two wickets off consecutive balls in her second and a fourth one in the last over to return with figures of 3.4-0-9-4. Pakistan - chasing 134 - had crumbled to 50 for 4 by the eleventh over even before the introduction of Colvin. Offspinner Danielle Hazell prised out Pakistan captain Sana Mir and then broke a 26-run fourth-wicket stand with the scalp of Nain Abidi before the rest of the batting collapsed.
Pakistan's decision to bowl first backfired as England openers brought up a quick century partnership. Although Laura Marsh was run out after scoring 54 off 41 balls in the 14th over, England looked set for a strong total. But the fall of Charlotte Edwards (45) to another run out helped the Pakistan bowlers get a grip on the innings and they restricted England to 133 for 6.
"We planned to attack the bowling in the Power Play overs," Edwards said. "I think as the game progresses, we've seen spin play a major part, so before the pitch wore out, we wanted to get as much as possible."
Mir, who was the most successful bowler for Pakistan with 2 for 20, said: "We did really well to restrict them to 133. I thought we could have applied ourselves better with the bat. Once we lose too many wickets at the start, it just puts immense pressure on the middle-order. Hopefully we will rectify our mistakes and look to win the remaining two games, we can only go up from here."
Australia chased down the target set by India in the Group A match in Galle with eight wickets in hand to continue the trend of easy wins in the Women's World T20.
India chose to bat first and despite losing their openers in the fifth and the seventh overs, they were comfortably placed midway in their innings. But India's captain Mithali Raj was run out on the first ball of the 11th over triggering a collapse. The score turned from 63 for 2 to 73 for 5 in a matter of four overs. Nagarajan Niranjana (15 off 14 balls) saved India some blushes with a quick 25-run partnership with Mona Meshram taking the team close to the century mark. In the end, India finished with 104, with Erin Osborne picking up three wickets for 13 runs. Jess Jonassen three-over spell in which she gave away only six runs and picked up a wicket was also key in slowing India down.
In response, Australia made an aggressive start, putting up 43 runs in six overs by the time their first wicket - Alyssa Healy for 21 - fell. But Jess Cameron (36 off 32) joined Meg Lanning in a 49-run second-wicket stand in 8.3 overs to bring Australia to the brink of victory. When Lanning was out for 39 to Jhulan Goswami only 13 runs were required which Australia got without much trouble.
A disappointed Raj later said: "Harman and I were batting really well, but we collapsed once again. One defeat doesn't mean the end of the road, we have to keep believing in ourselves. We can't sulk about this, surprises do happen."
Erin Osborne, who was declared Player of the Match, said: "I think I was just a beneficiary of some fantastic work done by the other bowlers."