India and England survive fright as minnows let them off hook
England captain Eoin Morgan denied that his team had been complacent after they narrowly avoided a humbling defeat to Afghanistan in the World T20.
Morgan suggested England simply ahd not replicated their planning in the middle, though that seems a charitable reading of their travails in the first 10 overs.
The English top-order crumbled after Morgan chose to bat first on a tricky Delhi wicket, slumping to 57-6 with a series of careless dismissals.
But the innings, and ultimately the match, was rescued by an eighth-wicket partnership of 57 between Moeen Ali, whose 41 not out was the top score of the match, and David Willey, who finished unbeaten on 20. That late blitz saw England post 142-7, enough for a 15-run win as Afghanistan were always behind the required rate and were restricted to 127-9.
Morgan's own form is beginning to draw attention and, after leaving a straight one first up, he explained: "It was an error in judgement. I got the message it was turning and it didn't turn. I misjudged it and I was bowled."
Bangladesh also missed out on causing a major shock against India, and they had nobody to blame but themselves.
Set 147 to win after a fine bowling display, Bangladesh got themselves into the position of needing two runs to win from three balls before disaster struck. Both the third last and penultimate deliveries were caught in the deep before a run out off the final ball saw India win by a single run.
Metcalfe shines but Ireland eliminated
Ciara Metcalfe turned in another fine hand in a losing cause as Ireland were beaten by South Africa in Chennai last night and crashed out of the World T20 in India.
Pembroke legspinner Metcalfe, whose 4-15 bowled Ireland to the brink of a shock victory over Sri Lanka at the weekend, again bamboozled the opposition with a spell of 1-15 from four overs but an expensive finish to the innings saw South Africa reach 156-5.
In reply, only two Ireland batters reached double figures – Clare Shillington, who top-scored with 34 before she was run out and skipper Isobel Joyce – as the Girls in Green were restricted to 89-9 and beaten by 67 runs.
Ireland will complete their Group A matches against Australia on Saturday, with Metcalfe’s almost certain inclusion in the team of the tournament as a small recognition of a campaign that has again shown significant progress in the development of the women’s game.