Women’s World Cup 2022 – WI vs Eng



She is, however, confident that the experience in the squad can help them bounce back

Heather Knight feels England lost their match against West Indies by slipping to 156 for 8 in their chase of 226, and not in its dramatic final stages, when they lost their last two wickets in the space of four balls after a 61-run ninth-wicket partnership between Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross. It was the defending champions’ second defeat in two matches at the Women’s World Cup, and Knight hopes England can bring a “knockout mindset” to their remaining games.

“It was a brilliant partnership,” the England captain said, about the Ecclestone-Cross stand. “We were obviously in a very tricky position, but we back our tail.

“Sophie and Kate have worked so hard on their batting and it’s quite nice to see them get the rewards for the work they’ve done. Yeah, they did seem really calm [while chasing]. They kept it very simple and they just tried to tick off the total. We had enough time in terms of balls left. So I think the way they played was outstanding, showed real fight. Obviously, we don’t want to be in that position. But that’s cricket – it swings quite quickly, breaking that partnership and losing that last [wicket].

“[It’s] just a bit frustrating, but it wasn’t that last 10-15 minutes that lost us the game. Ultimately, we’ve been in a few positions where we found ourselves with our backs against the wall, where we’ve had to go and fight and then we’ve done that. But we don’t want to be in that position in the first place.”

England might be worried at the fact that they have now lost five ODIs on the bounce. But Knight believes the team has enough experience to get back to winning ways.

“I think we need to have a knockout mindset now. Next game against South Africa is crucial to our World Cup hopes,” Knight said. “So we have to bring that mindset of needing to win every game and that simplifies things, doesn’t it? And hopefully, that’ll sharpen people’s minds to what we need to do because, at the moment, we’re fighting for our lives in this tournament.

“But yeah, there’s a lot of experience in this group. We have lost games before, and we know that we can’t dwell on defeat too much. Particularly, close defeats. They can sometimes be a little bit tricky to park, but we have got to make sure we park them, take what we need to, and go into the next game and give it everything.”

Two aspects Knight wants England to work on are death bowling and their fielding. On Wednesday, England dropped as many as seven chances after being asked to bowl first and ended up conceding 63 runs off their last seven overs. In their tournament opener against Australia, England leaked 79 runs in their final seven overs and eventually lost the game by 12 runs while chasing 311.

“They [West Indies] didn’t score too quickly in the middle, but we struggled to take wickets, and obviously, a few dropped catches and things like that didn’t help our cause, and when there are two set batters, it can be quite tricky,” Knight said.

“They squirted a few away and brought that momentum a little bit and then they finished pretty strongly but it’s something we definitely can do better. I think against Australia, the last loss, the 10 overs where they had set batters in, it was quite tough to defend. So yeah, [death bowling is] certainly something we’ll look at and look to keep improving our back-end stuff, because, in the Ashes, we didn’t really have that, that real death [bowling] issues that we probably had in those last few games. So it’s making sure, as bowlers, we’ve got clarity on what our plans are and where we want the batters to hit us.”

With England set to play two nearly back-to-back games, against South Africa and India, on March 14 and 16, Knight does want to linger on the defeats too much.

“We can do a lot better at the game and make sure we’re focused on the next one and not make too much of ourselves,” she said. “But in no way we’re out of this World Cup yet, so we have to focus on the next game. Get what we can from this game, park it and move on, ready for the next game against South Africa.”


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