Amy Jones struck 53* and Natalie Sciver 52* as England pulled off a convincing eight-wicket win over India in their ICC Women’s World T20 2018 semi-final in Antigua.
“Everyone's so happy, obviously. To finish it pretty convincingly, everyone is so, so pleased. Probably not the best at showing my excitement, but I'm feeling very good right now,” said Jones, the Player of the Match, after the victory.
“There’s always some nerves around, obviously. But our prep coming into this game has been so clear. And we knew our game plan. So it's just us feeling pretty confident. And the total (India scored 112) wasn't really high. So if we just batted through and had a good partnership we'd be in a good place.”
That partnership came with Sciver after the two got together with the team total at 24/2 in the fifth over, with Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt back in the dugout.
Jones took the aggressive route against India’s all-spin attack from the time she got in, and continued till she hit a boundary to get to her half-century and finish the job for her team.
“It (the innings) is definitely at the top. I haven't played a big role within team at a World Cup before. So obviously … semi-finals, fantastic. So, yeah, it ranks very high,” she said. “I don't think you ever really know it's done until you've done it, because there's always some nerves. So, yeah, the last ball is … very happy when that passed.
“Nat was fantastic. She came in and straightaway took the pressure off, having just lost the wicket. She's an attacking batter, which makes the partnership easier. I could easily take the singles and knew as long as we stayed in together we'd get the job done.”
Jones and Sciver did the run-scoring, but the win was set up by the bowlers. Heather Knight, the captain, returned 3/9 in two overs, while Sophie Ecclestone and Kirstie Gordon picked up two wickets apiece.
“Our bowlers were fantastic today. Obviously to restrict them to that total was brilliant. The spinners in particular, Kirstie Gordon has been fantastic throughout. She's really took to international cricket very naturally. And, yeah, the bowlers are fantastic … made it a lot easier for us,” gushed Jones.
Up next are traditional rivals Australia, who beat the Windies in the other semi-final.
“Obviously they are a world-class side, and hopefully it will be a really good game. Just really excited for it, really,” said Jones of the match-up.
“I think a World Cup final is a World Cup final. And anyone we're playing, it's a massive event. And I guess it's about just embracing the occasion, and it's a chance to really do something special. I think as a team we've dealt with the pressure well so far in this tournament. So hopefully one more win.