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Cricket - 30. March 2014.

England cruise past Sri Lanka and into semis

England Women passed their biggest test of the Women's World Twenty20, easing to a seven-wicket victory in a must-win game versus Sri Lanka at Sylhet.

In an encounter that was effectively a shootout for a semi-final spot, Charlotte Edwards again had her bowlers to thank after another terrific display.

With Anya Shrubsole claiming three wickets, Sri Lanka had few answers and stuttered to 85 for nine.

That did not prove remotely challenging a target, opener Sarah Taylor leading the way with 36 as England got home comfortably.

From the moment Edwards opted to bowl, her side assumed complete control as Shrubsole began to weave some magic.

Anya Shrubsole celebrates one of her three wickets in England Women's crucial World Twenty20 victory over Sri Lanka in Sylhet this evening
Anya Shrubsole celebrates one of her three wickets in England Women's crucial World Twenty20 victory over Sri Lanka in Sylhet this evening

Chamari Atapattu was the first batter to succumb, trapped lbw for a duck as the seamer struck in the opening over.

Not content, Shrubsole continued to impress and was rewarded when castling Deepika Rasangika to leave Sri Lanka in further trouble.

With the key threat out of the attack after her third over, Shashikala Siriwardene’s side aimed to build against the rest.

Yet Shrubsole was offered able support by Rebecca Grundy and Jenny Gunn, the former having Yasoda Mendis stumped and Eshani Lokusuriyage caught and bowled either side of the latter luring Chamari Polgampola into a feather behind.

Siriwardene was the sole bright spot amid the chaos, at least ensuring Sri Lanka had a steadying force at one end.

England continued to wheel away impressively at her colleagues, however, as all of the other batters failed to reach double figures.

Shrubsole was the pick of the attack, adding the scalp of Udeshika Prabodhani to finish with outstanding figures of 3-9.

Gunn and Grundy each ended with two wickets, while Natalie Sciver and Danni Hazell grabbed one apiece.

Any hopes Sri Lanka had of defending their small total were quickly put to rest as Taylor began to unfurl her array of strokes.

So comfortable did she look that her departure, stumped being overly aggressive against Shashikala Siriwardene, was ultimately a surprise.

Edwards fell to the same bowler for a steady 17 soon after, trapped lbw, but Heather Knight kept up the momentum with a positive 21.

She ultimately departed with a run required for victory, yet Sciver completed a fine win by hitting the winning run.

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