Cheshire’s Sophie Ecclestone starred as England continued their impressive form at the T20 World Cup.
They made it two wins from two in the group stage with a four-wicket victory against Ireland in Paarl.
Lancashire CC’s Ecclestone was once again a standout performer, recording figures of 3-13 to underline why she is the number one ranked women’s T20I bowler.
Ireland elected to bat first, and initially looked to have made a good decision as they reached 42-1 at the end of the power play.
The turning point came in the 13th over, as Ecclestone delivered a double wicket maiden to give England control.
The left-arm spinner removed opener Gaby Lewis for 36, before bowling Eimear Richardson LBW for a duck with the very next ball.
Despite missing out on the hat-trick, Ecclestone’s brilliance triggered an Ireland batting collapse as they fell from 80-2 to 105 all out in the space of seven overs.
England’s spin attack looked at home on a used pitch, with eight of Ireland’s ten wickets falling to spin.
Ecclestone is currently the tournament’s leading wicket taker with six wickets.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) February 13, 2023
England started their chase by loosing Sophia Dunkley for only four runs in the first over, but Alice Capsey came to the crease and produced a dominant performance with the bat.
The 18-year-old made 51 off just 22 balls and scored the joint fastest 50 in women’s T20 World Cups.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 13, 2023
England lost momentum following Capsey’s dismissal, making hard work for themselves by losing four wickets for 29 runs.
However, Katherine Sciver-Brunt hit the winning runs to complete the run chase in 14.2 overs.
England are top of their World Cup group and have a strong net run rate of 2.497.
Up next is India on Saturday, who eliminated England in the semi-final of last summer’s Commonwealth Games.