England form ‘peaking at the right time’ as Women’s World Cup semi-finals beckon

England and Kent batter Tammy Beaumont insists her side are peaking at the right time ahead of their crucial final group stage game against Bangladesh at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

A fourth straight win will secure England’s passage to the semi-finals and mark an incredible turnaround after a hat-trick of losses looked like ending the defending champions’ title defense at the first hurdle.

There is no shortage of motivation for Heather Knight’s side who know that a big win against Bangladesh will help improve their net run rate and give them a good chance of finishing third and avoiding table-toppers Australia, who won seven from seven in the group stage , in the knockout phase.

“I think we obviously started a little bit slow in the comp, but our bowlers are certainly peaking at the right time,” said opener Beaumont, from Dover.

“Katherine Brunt looked in really good rhythm last game, Kate Cross throughout has been brilliant, Sophie Ecclestone too and everyone’s chipping in where they can.

“With the batting, we haven’t had that solid opening partnership yet. We haven’t got past 31 I think, so it was good to see Danni go on and get some good runs last game.

“And there’s been contributions throughout. I do feel like we’re starting to get there and play our best cricket as we come into the back end of this tournament.”

Beaumont was the Player of the Tournament at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 as her 410 runs helped fire England to glory on home soil.

This time around she is still averaging 35 despite her last three knocks against Pakistan, New Zealand and India totaling just 28, but Beaumont is not the slightest bit concerned about her form.

She explained: “I don’t really feel like I’m out of shape. I think it was only a few games ago I scored 50 against South Africa.

“So, I think when the games come thick and fast, you’re never far away from a good performance. I felt pretty good in some of the games and got some good balls, so I’m not too worried.”

Bangladesh gave Australia a scare after reducing the world No.1 side to 70 for five in pursuit of 136 before Beth Mooney’s unbeaten 66 ensured the 2013 champions topped the group stage with a perfect seven wins.

And Beaumont is wary about what surprises the Bangladesh spin attack could have in store for her side on what will be another windy Wellington day, particularly as the sides square off for the first time in ODIs.

She added: “They got a few early wickets against Australia, so it’s going to be really key to start working against them tomorrow.

“They don’t bowl with that much pace and they’ve got a lot of spinners. So that’s going to be a challenge and particularly here at Wellington.

“It looks like it’s going to be really windy one way hitting into the wind. So, we have to be very smart with that.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana revealed her side are not planning to let England sweep their way out of trouble against their slow bowlers, with off-spinner Salma Khatun in red-hot form having ripped through Australia’s fabled top three of Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning at the same venue on Friday.

She said: “We plan for each individual team every time. We have a good spin attack, so we are going to plan against them and not let them play the kind of shots they are used to playing.

“Obviously, our bowling unit so far is doing well, so I’m hoping they will do the same thing tomorrow.”

Nigar admits she is hoping her batters come good against England as Bangladesh, who cannot make the semi-finals, aim to exit the tournament with a final flourish at the Basin Reserve.

She added: “What we did against Australia was like a bowlers’ show. I am hoping that the top order will also bounce back in tomorrow’s game.

“It’s the last game and we want to take all the positives back home.”

© ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2022


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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