ICC Women's World Cup 2017: England qualify after beating Sri Lanka in Colombo

Heather Knight
Captain Heather Knight top scored for England, then conceded only seven runs in her four overs of off-spin
Second women's one-day international, Colombo (RPS):
England 295 (50 overs): Knight 53, Winfield 51, Sciver 51, Ranaweera 3-48
Sri Lanka 173 (48.5 overs): Perera 35, Hazell 3-38, Marsh 2-36
England won by 122 runs

England clinched qualification for the 2017 Women's World Cup by beating Sri Lanka by 122 runs in their second one-day international in Colombo.

Lauren Winfield (51), Heather Knight (53) and Natalie Sciver (51) all hit half-centuries as the tourists were bowled out for 295 in their 50 overs.

Sri Lanka, never in the hunt, were bowled out for 173 in 48.5 overs.

England join Australia in qualifying for the World Cup, which takes place in England in June and July next year.

The top four teams in the eight-team ICC Women's Championship table qualify automatically, with the bottom four joining six other sides in a qualifying tournament, to be held in Sri Lanka early in 2017, to determine the final four World Cup qualifiers.

West Indies will become the third side to qualify automatically if they beat India on Sunday, while New Zealand and South Africa are battling for fourth place.

Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield
Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield shared an opening stand of 53 after England lost the toss

England dominate with the bat

After Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field, England made best use of the conditions at the R Premadasa Stadium as three of their top four passed 50, though none of them passed 53.

Captain Knight struck three sixes, while the free-scoring Sciver's 51 came from only 27 balls.

When she fell, England were 198-5 in the 36th over - but while the lower order was occasionally prone to folding in their recent series in West Indies, this time Georgia Elwiss (46) and Danielle Hazell (29) marshalled the tail well, as the last five wickets added 97 in 15 overs.

It set up what would have been a record run chase for Sri Lanka, whose record ODI score of 282-5 against India at the 2013 World Cup was the only occasion on which they had made more than 251.

That never looked likely as off-spinners Hazell (3-38) and Laura Marsh (2-35) put the brakes on, five Sri Lankans were trapped lbw and two others run out as England cruised to victory, claimed a 2-0 lead in the series - and the two points to guarantee qualification.

Opener Tammy Beaumont donned the wicketkeeping gloves, which she had not done for England since 2011, as keeper Amy Jones was forced to miss the game through illness.

What they said

England captain Heather Knight: "We're really chuffed. It's been a long road to get here which started two years ago. We have the best fans in the world, so to get the opportunity to play in a World Cup on home soil is really exciting.

"A few of us got out for fifties, ideally you'd like one of those to go on and get a big score. Katherine Brunt had a bit of a niggle, so we were a bowler down.

"But with Sri Lanka having nine left-handers, having two world-class off-spinners and seeing them bowl in tandem was brilliant."

ICC Women's Championship table
1. Australia (Q)1830
2. England (Q)1925
3. West Indies1922
4. New Zealand1820
5. South Africa1817
6. India1615
7. Pakistan158
8. Sri Lanka195

Top four teams qualify automatically for 2017 World Cup

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