Heather Knight’s majestic first T20I century gave England a record-breaking 98-run victory over Thailand at the ICC Women’s T20 World Championship.
The English skipper reacted emphatically to the loss to South Africa and shot 108 of 66 balls to become the fourth batsman to score a hundred goals and topple records at the event.
England’s total of 176/2 was the highest T20I total, and Knight’s unbeaten third wicket of 169 with Nat Sciver was the highest partnership for a wicket in the history of the Women’s T20 World Championship. Thailand made 78/7 of their 20 overs, with England’s 98 being the biggest margin of the tournament.
All of this was hardly imaginable after a remarkable game start, in which the winners were reduced from 2009 to 7/2. Both English openers were released for the second time in T20Is because of ducks.
Nattaya Boochatham, the world’s leading T20I wicket-taker in 2019, sparked wild celebrations when her arm ball struck an attacking Amy Jones. Opening partner Danni Wyatt died for a golden duck and sliced Soraya Lateh to cover the point at which Wongpaka Liengprasert dived forward for an excellent catch.
Just like their defeat against the Proteas in Perth, Sciver combined security with an expansive punch game to capture the kick-off, scoring her third half-century in four innings. Knight showed similar reluctance and punished Chanida Sutthiruang at a moderate pace as she deviated from the leg side and hooked twice to the limit when the pair of 34 balls raced to a 50s stand.
Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd six times across the backfield to reach half a century out of 34 balls. Another professionally assessed sweep reached the 100 level on the 15th. The English captain went beyond 90 and lifted Liengprasert over 17 over long-on. As the fourth English player, he reached three numbers with a cut-for-two in the final.
Knight has set a remarkable record at Manuka Oval. All four T20I 50-plus results come in Australia’s capital, most of all women in a single venue in format.
Their team scored an impressive 176/2 and only took four balls of the Thai response to the strike. Anya Shrubsole jerked one through Boochatham’s defense and held her pound for 0.
Natthakan Chantam impressed with her offside strength, drove Katherine Brunt pretty much to the limit and then cut Sciver to the fence in the power play. After the field restrictions were relaxed, the barrel flow came to a standstill with 12 runs of five overs of spinners Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, and Knight.
Ecclestone’s metronomic accuracy was rewarded with the second wicket when her faster quantum foxed and pinned her upfront for 32 of 53 balls. Wickets fell with Sciver, who put two in an over when Nannapat Khoncharoenkai was hurled across the line and Sutthiruang was found in the middle of the game.
Shrubsole returned to remove Thai skipper Sornarrin Tippoch, who had stumbled far for one before Liengprasert was run by the sailor to 62/6.
England’s sweeping victory was crowned when Shrubsole forced Onnicha Kamchomphu to jump from the penultimate delivery to the middle.