England once again overcame a dramatic batting collapse to move to the brink of the semi-finals of the Women’s World Twenty20 with a last-ball one-wicket victory against West Indies.
Charlotte Edwards’s side nearly came unstuck in their pursuit against India earlier this week before coming out on top and they were given an even bigger scare against West Indies, slipping from 63 for one to 106 for nine while attempting to chase down 109.
However, the last-wicket pair of Natalie Sciver and Rebecca Grundy scampered a bye from the final delivery of the innings as England scraped home by the finest of margins for their third Group B triumph.
It is one that has all but sealed their place in the knockout stages of the competition and they can make sure of their progress against Pakistan in Chennai on Sunday.
However, their twin batting slumps in Dharamshala will prove a cause for concern. After Edwards, with 30, and Tammy Beaumont, 31, put on an opening stand worth 59, only Sciver, 19 not out, was able to reach double figures. Beaumont was trapped in front by Afy Fletcher, who then accounted for Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight.
Lydia Greenway and Danielle Wyatt fell in the same over bowled by Stafanie Taylor as England slipped to 83 for six and their hopes seemed bleak when Shaquana Quintyne took two wickets in the penultimate over.
Anya Shrubsole was cleaned up by Deandra Dottin, with three needed from the final two balls, and, after England were given a gift with a wide, Grundy’s single tied the scores.
Sciver then failed to connect with the final delivery but ran for the bye as the West Indies wicketkeeper Merissa Aguilleira missed with her shy at the stumps in a breathless conclusion to the match.
Earlier, the West Indies total of 108 for four after deciding to bat first looked distinctly below par.
England made an early breakthrough as Hayley Matthews chipped Katherine Brunt to midwicket before Stafanie Taylor, with 35, Quintyne and Dottin, 22, made decent contributions.
However, their scoring was stifled by a disciplined bowling performance from England, with Shrubsole taking one for 11 from her four overs as no West Indies batter found the boundary rope in the final eight overs.