England's women extend dominance
England 134 (Claire Taylor 66, Goswami 3-20) beat India 88 for 8 (Brunt 1-14, Wyatt 2-20) by 46 runs
Claire Taylor roared back into form with a boundary-laden 66 to carry England to 134 before a professional team performance with the ball restricted India to 88 for 8 and secured a dominant 46-run win at Taunton. England were already assured of a place in the final of the NatWest Women's T20 Quadrangular Series but there was no let-up in intensity from them and India never threatened to chase down a modest total.
England had looked like getting a lot more than their 134 when Taylor and Danielle Wyatt combined in a rapid third-wicket stand of 42 that rattled along at better than eight an over and ensured England took advantage of the fielding restrictions despite the early departures of captain Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh, who edged the first ball she faced through to wicketkeeper Anagha Deshpande.
Wyatt collected four sweetly-timed boundaries, the pick of which was a lofted inside-out drive over extra cover off seamer Snehal Pradhan, before she chipped a return catch back to Amita Sharma. Sharma was on a hat-trick when she found the edge of Lydia Greenway's bat first ball, but Claire Taylor denied her the landmark and took England past 100 in allrounder Arran Brindle's company.
In the midst of their 55-run stand - the highest of the match - England looked set to reach at least 160, but Indian captain Jhulan Goswami took it upon herself to claw her team back into the game, bowling Taylor and adding two further wickets as England were bowled out with a ball to spare.
India's chase never got going, however, and fast bowler Katherine Brunt recovered from the disappointment of seeing a catch dropped by wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor to strike the first blow by dismissing Deshpande for a 15-ball 5. India managed just one boundary in the first six overs, a slogged four from Neha Tanwar that brought her her first runs in Twenty20 internationals.
After Mithali Raj was run out, England's spinners took control, with Wyatt completing a good all-round performance with two wickets and Holly Colvin and Danielle Hazell contributing one apiece.
India knew they couldn't make the final of this tournament going into this game, and their disappointment was reflected in their lacklustre performance. England, on the other hand, were already assured of a place and will go into their match against Australia on Monday as the form team.
"We could have won," said a disappointed Goswami. "The wicket and weather was good. The batting let us down totally in the competition. We have not been able to score 100 consistently in the tournament. We are not playing to our potential. We need to definitely change as we are working very hard to sort our problems out with our coaches. We know what mistakes we are making and are working hard to rectify it as well.
"We need to play our natural game and not take undue pressure. The bottom line is to enjoy the game. The problem seems to be a mental one more than anything else. We are trying to be over aggressive and putting ourselves under pressure. Bowling and fielding are doing well. But we need to make a conscious effort to individually raise our game."
Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo