GALLE, Sri Lanka: England Women Saturday registered an easy win over India to make it to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20.
Electing to bat first, India's batswomen put up a modest total of 116 runs with Poonam Raut top scoring for the eves with 51 runs off 57 balls.
However, the total proved to be insufficient as the English batswomen chased down the target with 17 balls to spare.
English openers Charlotte Edwards (50*) and Laura Marsh (39) laid the foundation of the chase with a 78 runs partnership to take the team to a comfortable win.
Marsh also starred with the ball as she took two Indian wickets.
This defeat means India semi-finals hope are over as they lost their first match to Australia by eight wickets.
Indian captain Mithali Raj was disappointed to miss out on a semi-final berth, but offered no excuses. "We played well below our potential," she said. "We knew we had two former champions in our group, and we had to play out of our skins, but we underachieved."
Despite the loss, Raj felt there were some positives the team could carry into its last game against Pakistan.
"Poonam (Raut) has played well in both the games, so that is a good sign," she said. "The game against Pakistan may not have any consequence in terms of the tournament, but it is still a World T20 game. We are just looking at it as another opportunity to go out and perform. Hopefully we will get the right results."
Australia down Pakistan to reach semis
Australia defeated Pakistan by 25 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
An opening stand of 53 between Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning set a strong foundation for Australia, which finished at an impressive 146 for five.
After the departure of both the openers, who fell to Pakistan's left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf in the ninth over, Jessica Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar continued the fast pace, putting together a valuable stand of 67 runs that came off 45 balls.
Cameron, who was named player of the match for her knock of 42 from 28 balls, seemed to relish the challenge of performing on the big stage. "I think I've worked really hard for this," she said. "Our preparation here has been good, we've adjusted well to the conditions here. I don't believe I've done too much, hopefully I'm reserving my best for England."
Chasing 147 to stay alive in the tournament, Pakistan was struggling at 38 for three from nine overs when rain prevented any further play in the match.
For Australia, Marsh finished with figures of two for 22 in four overs, while Katherine Brunt, Holly Colvin and Arran Brindle picked up one wicket apiece.
Pakistan captain Sana Mir was disappointed by the loss. "It is tough to digest this loss. We don't have too much international exposure, so this was a stage that we all looked forward to, and it is very disappointing to lose in this manner.
"We didn't want to concede more than 130 runs, but even with that, when we came out to bat, we tinkered with the batting in order to make use of the Powerplay overs, but it didn't work," she said.
Sana added that continued opportunities against the top teams were the only way the team could improve. "We played Australia three years ago in a warm-up, and haven't played against them since," she said. "I think it is important to play against the top teams.
"We really look forward to playing the bigger teams. It is about playing and improving, and that can happen only if we regularly play against the top sides like England and Australia," she said.
Scores in Brief
At GICS, England beat India by nine wickets (with 17 balls remaining)
India 116 for 6, 20 overs (Poonam Raut 51, Mithali Raj 35*; Laura Marsh 2-22)
England 118 for one, 17.1 overs (Charlotte Edwards 50*; Laura Marsh 39; Sarah Taylor 25*, Reema Malhotra 1-23)
Player of the Match - Charlotte Edwards
At GICS, Australia beat Pakistan by 25 runs (D/L method)
Australia 146 for five, 20 overs (Jessica Cameron 42, Alyssa Healy 36, Lisa Sthalekar 29; Sadia Yousuf 2-39)
Pakistan 38 for three, 9 overs (Qanita Jalil 13; Ellyse Perry 2-19)
Player of the Match - Jessica Cameron (Australia)