Danni Wyatt 87 sets up England for 3-0 series sweep against Pakistan


England 176 (Wyatt 87, Baig 3-26) beat Pakistan 142 for 4 (Dar 35*, Ecclestone 1-19) by 34 runs

Danni Wyatt blazed her way into form with 87 from 48 balls to set England on their way to a 3-0 sweep against Pakistan. Wyatt made the most of being dropped on 12, 79 and 81 to help power England to their highest score of the series before the bowlers comfortably kept Pakistan in check in front of a sizeable crowd basking in the Leeds sunshine.

Without Wyatt, England’s efforts would have looked a lot less convincing. On a true Headingley surface with a fast outfield, Amy Jones’ 26 was the next-highest score and they were eventually bowled out from the final ball of the innings – albeit with enough on the board. Diana Baig picked up 3 for 26 as well as running-out Maia Bouchier for the second match running, and contributing several athletic stops in the field.

Pakistan also produced their best showing with the bat but could not match England’s power. The openers, Sidra Ameen and Gull Feroza, equalled Pakistan’s highest T20I partnership against England by putting on 60, but a collapse of 4 for 13 put paid to any thoughts they might have a tilt at a record chase. Aliya Riaz and Nida Dar stopped the rot and then struck some defiant blows during a stand that eventually eclipsed that of Ameen and Feroza to ensure respectability.

High Wyatt act
Wyatt managed seven runs from nine balls in her two previous innings – having made a highest score of 21 on the recent tour of New Zealand – and was clearly eager to make a significant contribution this time out. Her sixth and seventh balls were crunched to the boundary, although that should have been the end of her fun, as she pushed tentatively forward to Baig and sent a thick edge towards first slip. However, wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali couldn’t cling on diving across to her right and Wyatt survived.

She ensured that Pakistan would pay dearly for the miss. Her ball-striking was as crisp as ever, and she rattled the scoreboard along almost single-handedly during her time at the crease. With Bouchier and Nat Sciver-Brunt falling cheaply, at the halfway mark Wyatt had scored 42 out of England’s 69 for 2; she then kicked up a gear, clouting Dar for a six and three fours in an over that cost 20, before adding back-to-back boundaries off Sadia Iqbal in the next.

Wyatt was then dropped twice in the space of three balls – Riaz and Sadaf Shamas the culprits – before the latter was presented with a chance to make amends. With Wyatt closing in on a third T20I hundred, she again sliced Baig high into the off side, only for Sadaf to cling on running in off the rope. England were 118 for 3 in the 14th over, with Wyatt having scored three-quarters of the team’s runs and struck 13 out of 15 boundaries.

Go hard, stumble harder
With Wyatt’s bit done, England’s attempt to “put on a show”, in the words of captain Heather Knight, began to go awry. Knight chipped tamely to short extra cover at the start of the next over and then Alice Capsey was run out by a direct hit from Ameen at point. England had lost 3 for 4 in the space of six balls and it could have been worse had Waheeda Akhtar not overstepped with the first delivery of the 16th – but Danielle Gibson was reprieved after top-edging to short third and helped add 27 in 16 balls alongside Jones.

Jones looked in good nick, finding the boundary four times in her 26 from 15. But after Gibson mishit a Dar full toss to short fine leg, Jones spooned a Fatima Sana slower ball to be caught by Waheeda at point (at the third attempt). England kept coming, nevertheless, and the wickets continued to fall – three of them in Baig’s final over – as they signed off their 20 overs with a scruffy slide of 8 for 58.

Opening gambit
Pakistan’s struggles in the series could be summed up by all out scores of 110 and 79 in the first two T20Is – with a highest partnership of 30. Ameen and Feroza doubled that effort here as they looked to gain a foothold in their chase, picking off five boundaries apiece during an increasingly confident stand. They were 45 for 0 after the powerplay – bettering England (40 for 1) on both counts – and only came unstuck when Ameen was given out lbw against Sophie Ecclestone and failed to realise that contact with her glove would have saved her on review.

Feroza departed in the next over, having surpassed her previous T20I best of 21 not out, but the innings did not fall away. As in Northampton on Friday, Riaz showcased her long levers, while Dar thumped Charlie Dean for six and four – their unbroken partnership of 65 setting a new mark for Pakistan against England in women’s T20Is.

Filer makes mark
England’s one change was to bring in the extra pace of Lauren Filer for her third T20I cap. The speed gun was immediately pushed up to 75mph during a two-over spell in the powerplay, although she discovered the challenge of dealing with the Headingley slope when overstepping with her third ball. She returned to claim her maiden T20I wicket in the 12th over, Sadaf unable to live with a short ball that grazed the top edge as it flew through to Jones. At 73 for 4, the Pakistan innings became an exercise in damage limitation.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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