Hefty win clinches England Women's World Cup spot

England 295 (Knight 53, Winfield 51, Sciver 51) beat Sri Lanka 173 (Perera 35, Hazell 3-38) by 122 runs
Scorecard

Natalie Sciver thrashed a rapid fifty (file photo) © Getty Images

England secured their qualification for next year’s Women’s World Cup with a comprehensive 122-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo. Lauren Winfield, Heather Knight and Nat Sciver all scored half-centuries as England amassed 295 before Sri Lanka were dismissed well short of their target in the 49th over.

It was England’s second win in four days but, unlike the first ODI, this match formed part of the ICC Women’s Championship. England, currently second in the table behind Australia, picked up another two points to move eight clear of fifth-placed South Africa and guarantee a top-four spot.

The next Women’s World Cup will take place in England next summer, starting on June 26 and featuring eight teams.

“It’s a brilliant feeling to have secured automatic qualification for the ICC Women’s World Cup,” Knight, England’s captain, said. “We have the best fans in the world, so to get the opportunity to play in a World Cup on home soil is really exciting, and something that we are all already looking forward to.

“Playing in that first round of the ICC Women’s Championship back in 2014 against India feels like a long time ago now. We have grown and developed so much as a squad since then, especially in the last 10 months or so, and we are learning all the time. How we played against Pakistan this summer, followed-up by the hard fought victory in the Caribbean, is testament to the work that the players are putting in.”

England had too much firepower in the second of their four-match series. A 53-run opening stand was followed by Winfield and Knight adding 70; Knight struck three sixes and England were 156 for 3 when she fell in the 31st over.

Sciver had already found her stride by then and raced to a 24-ball fifty. Although the lower order threatened to fall away, Georgia Elwiss made 46 and Danielle Hazell 29 to get England within sight of 300 before they were dismissed from the final ball of the innings, Inoka Ranaweera and Ama Kanchana taking three wickets apiece.

Sri Lanka also managed a fifty opening stand but they soon slipped behind the required rate. Spinners Hazell and Laura Marsh accounted for the top five and Chamari Polgampola was run out after helping add 49 for the fifth wicket. Opener Hasini Perera top-scored with 35 from 90 balls before being seventh out and Knight shuffled her attack to close out victory.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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