Chennai return boosts Edwards

Charlotte Edwards is hoping a return to Chennai will bring the best out of England as they go in search of an ICC Women’s World Twenty20 semi-final place against Pakistan tomorrow.

England prepared for their Group B campaign with three warm-up matches in Chennai, beating New Zealand twice and South Africa.

A switch to Bangalore and Dharamsala failed to unsettle England as they continued the winning feeling with victories over Bangladesh, India and West Indies to sit two points clear at the top of the standings.

But having suffered batting collapses on slow wickets in two nail-biters in Dharamsala, Edwards is delighted to be back in familiar conditions in Chennai for the Pakistan clash.

“We were looking forward to coming back to Chennai, having won three warm-up games here, so it was nice to think we were coming back here,” she said at a pre-match press conference.

“We know the conditions here and we have played under lights here. We feel we are as fully prepared as we can be and are looking forward to tomorrow night.

“We are really positive. To win our first three games is something we set out to achieve, so we have done that, and to win here tomorrow would be fantastic and take a spot in the semi-finals, which is hugely exciting.

“We know we are going to have to play well against a very good Pakistan team.”

England made hard work of beating the hosts and the Windies in Dharamsala, twice completing chases at the death despite dramatic collapses.

They lost seven wickets for 45 runs when chasing 91 to beat India, which they did with two wickets and six balls to spare, before managing to complete a pursuit of 109 from the last ball after losing nine for 47 against West Indies.

But despite accepting England need to improve with the bat, Edwards was keen to focus on the positives.

“You have got to take the game in isolation because Dharamsala was a completely different wicket to what we are going to face here,” she said.

“Obviously there are leaning we can take from the collapses but ultimately we have won two games of cricket. We are not going to dissect the games and think we should have done this, we should have done that.

“We won the game and have shown a lot of bottle, which is important, over the last two games as well.”

Having lost by four runs to West Indies in their opening match, Pakistan have shown their potential by beating rivals India and then thrashing Bangladesh.

“Their main strength is their bowling,” Edwards said. “They have got some good bowlers, including their spinners, led very well by Sana Mir.

“That will be their main threat, the spinners have dominated this competition so far, so we will be looking at them.

“They did well the other day chasing down 120 against Bangladesh as well. We are going into tomorrow positive because if we play well we should win, but they have played well through this tournament.”

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Meanwhile, Laura Marsh is delighted to be in India after linking up with the England squad as a replacement for the injured Danielle Hazell.

Marsh told “It is obviously unfortunate for Dan that she has had to fly home but to be out here at a World Cup is really exciting. Hopefully if I get the opportunity, I can do a good job for the team.”

The spinning all-rounder has played in Australia this winter, including the Women’s Big Bash League, and is ready to utilise sub-continent conditions if she gets an opportunity.

“Having actual match practice and spending time in the middle and getting lots of overs under my belt has been really good,” Marsh said.

“Obviously the wickets out there are going to be pretty different to here, but hopefully my bowling and fielding out there will stand me in good stead.

“When you come to India it is always quite exciting as a spinner. Hopefully I can utilise those conditions and use them to my advantage.”  

Source: ECB

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