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Edwards looking for smoother passage than men

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Alison Mitchell | 16:43 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

While Paul Collingwood's team squeezed into the Super Eights at the World Twenty20, England women's captain Charlotte Edwards will be looking for a slightly smoother passage to the semi-finals of the women's competition, once they begin the defence of their crown in St Kitts on Wednesday.

England first meet Australia, their traditional foes, before matches against the West Indies and South Africa in Group A.

They also welcome back their best batsman, Claire Taylor, who smashed 76 off 53 balls in last summer's thriller at The Oval, when England were set a formidable 164 to book a place in the final.

Taylor got them there with three balls to spare, and will be the prize wicket of every bowler in the tournament.

England captain Charlotte EdwardsCharlotte Edwards and her England team-mates begin their defence of the trophy on Wednesday

Coach Mark Lane told me "Tails (Taylor) is back to her brutal best. We've got Holly Colvin and Sarah Taylor back as well, so we're looking strong.

Our preparation has been first class with a four-day camp at Loughborough before coming out here and we're looking forward to taking on the Aussies again."

The build-up in St Kitts has gone smoothly for England, with warm up wins over Sri Lanka and India, who make up Group B, along with last year's runners up New Zealand, and Pakistan, who are the lowest ranked side in the tournament.

Australia are missing their injured captain Jodie Fields, so Alex Blackwell has taken the reins and Alyssa Healy, niece of former Australian wicketkeeper Ian, takes the gloves.

"I think if you lose the captain it's going to be disruptive" commented Lane. "Alex Blackwell is a smart cricketer and she'll lead the side well, but you'd always want your captain and best wicketkeeper in the side."

The 'big four' of England, Australia, India and New Zealand will be expected to make up the semi-final spots but the side emerging as the biggest contender to cause an upset is the West Indies.

Buoyed by their T20 series win over England last November, the team are much more organised and more highly drilled than in previous world tournaments.

Watch out for off-spinning all-rounder Deandra Dottin, who hits a hard ball, and in Jamaican Stafanie Taylor the Windies possess an aggressive top-order batsman and the only West Indian player to feature in the top 10 of the world batting rankings (eighth).

She's also ranked fifth as an all-rounder. Outside of cricket her face is becoming well known across the region as she features in a TV commercial urging viewers to "protect your wicket in cricket and in life" as part of a 'Thinkwise' initiative to combat Aids.

The West Indies have already caused an early stir by beating New Zealand by three wickets in their final warm-up game, and with the local crowds behind them, England will be rightly wary of the threat they pose in the group.

Follow me on Twitter @AlisonMitchell


  • Comment number 1.

    Nearly as nervous before the Australia game as I was last night for Eng v Ireland.

    Tough group (look at the WI result today) and real fight for a semi-final place.

    C'mon England

  • Comment number 2.

    Good luck to the women'd team, they have done us proud for too long and deserve more recognition.

    Is the match covered on any channel?

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh the batting, the batting, the batting. Since winning the Twenty20 World Cup we have played 7 Twenty20 Internationals and our scores have been:-

    Australia: 112 (20 overs)
    West Indies: 99 (20 overs)
    West Indies: 120 (18.1 overs)
    West Indies: 126 (20 overs)
    India: 96 all out
    India: 126 (19.2 overs)
    India: 117 (20 overs)

    Once again we are looking at a batting collapse: 63-2 becomes 104 all out. This should not really come as a surprise. Out of the 7 matches listed above there were notable batting collapses in 5 of them:-

    Australia: from 59-2 to 117-6
    WI 1st : from 52-2 to 112-8
    WI 2nd : from 70-2 to 99 all out
    India 1st : from 63-2 to 126-8
    India 2nd : from 78-3 to 96 all out

    Okay some of the above scores were sufficient to win the match but one cannot keep scoring sub-130 and expect to win more than half the matches. Can anyone other than the blessed trinity (Taylor x 2, Lottie) step up to the plate with the bat ?

    Only criticism of the bowlers is the 6 wides and 1 noball – critical in a tight game. Still, the batters owe the bowlers big time for salvaging a tie and defending 104. Fantastic effort in the field.

    On a general point; opening day of the Women’s competition, Dottin smashes the fastest international Twenty20 hundred (men or women) and the 2nd game ends in a tie. Who needs the men’s version ?

  • Comment number 4.

    We lose because they hit one six and we hit none?

    Rather it was because we were bowled out quicker..

    Makes Duckworth & Lewis seem fair...

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think we should be looking at the rules for the cause of the defeat (although I agree the number of sixes ahead of run rate seems a bit bizarre). We lost because we batted very poorly. As blogged earlier, some batters other than the 'blessed trinity' need to start making significant contributions on a regular (repeat regular) basis.
    England's fantastic bowling/fielding verses West Indies fantastic batting .... should be a cracker on Friday. Not a lot at stake of course !

  • Comment number 6.

    Lahdar in the cold light of day you're of course right. Disappointment tinged my views last night....

    In tight T20's when no one batsman dominates it is the contribution of the peripheral players that becomes so important.

    HUGE game on Friday against the high flying hosts then Australia v WI on Sunday could decide our fate.

  • Comment number 7.

    See #3 from 2 days ago (déjà vu).
    Immensely disappointing for followers, supporters and the team.

  • Comment number 8.

    I have every confidence that Edwards & Lane will be on the case for a successful summer to cheer up the team's supporters.


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