Thursday , June 13 2024

England vs Pakistan: Spinner Sophie Ecclestone on brink of becoming fastest player to take 100 ODI wickets | Cricket News

Sophie Ecclestone could become the fastest woman to take 100 wickets in ODI cricket when England face Pakistan on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Ecclestone currently has 98 scalps to her name after finishing on 3-26 in England’s first ODI victory over Pakistan. She needs two wickets in her next match to break the record set by Australia great Cathryn Fitzpatrick in 64 games.

Australia’s pace bowler Megan Schutt (66 matches) and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen (67) currently occupy the second and third place respectively.

Sunday 26th May 10:30am

Reflecting on England’s 37-run victory over Pakistan in Derby, player of the match Ecclestone said: “I think we got away with a few balls out there, it was really cold but it’s great to get three wickets and to get the win in the end.

“I just try to bowl my best ball for longer. Sometimes I go hunting for wickets but I have to remind myself to keep my best ball in play and use my arm ball when needed.

“I think we didn’t get enough runs, we should have got a few more but I think we went out and we wanted to take wickets and keep the intensity high and that’s what we did.”

England wrapped up a “scrappy” win against Pakistan in the ODI opener with Alice Capsey (44) top-scoring and Charlie Dean (2-39), Lauren Bell (2-42) and Kate Cross (2-46) all finishing with two wickets apiece.

Nida Dar’s side frustrated the England players towards the death with semi-threatening partnerships leading Pakistan to their narrowest defeat against the hosts in an ODI match.

Pakistan currently sit in fifth place on the ICC Women’s Championship table with 16 points and the top six teams, along with hosts India, will be granted automatic qualification for the 50-over World Cup in 2025.

It is the last opportunity for the Nida’s side to get points whereas England have two series in hand. They face Ireland in a three-match ODI series in September before coming up against South Africa in December in the same format.

“It was a scrappy performance, we can do a lot better, too many extras but at the end of the day we got the job done,” said England’s captain Heather Knight.

“There were a lot of things we could tidy up. I’ve talked a lot about finding the tempo in ODI cricket and the more we do things for longer, the better we will get.

“There were a lot of stop-starts but you wanted one batter to dominate and we needed to be a lot more tidy in the field.”

England completed a T20 whitewash against the tourists earlier this month where Ecclestone became the country’s leading wicket-taker in the shortest format where she took five wickets across three games.

England vs Pakistan broke attendance records at Headingley
England vs Pakistan broke attendance records at Headingley

The 25-year-old has 118 wickets in T20 cricket and moved past Katherine Sciver-Brunt to claim the top spot for England.

With the T20 World Cup only five months away in Bangladesh, her wicket-taking abilities and experience in the sub-continent with the Women’s Premier League will hold her in good stead for selection.

Before the next 50-over World Cup in India England play three ODI and T20I matches as part of the multi-format Ashes in January so their preparation against Pakistan and New Zealand later this summer will be crucial.

Watch the second ODI between England and Pakistan from Taunton, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Sunday from 10.30am (first ball 11am). Also stream with NOW.

England vs Pakistan ODI series fixtures – live on Sky Sports

May 23: First Women’s One-Day International – England win by 37 runs
May 26: Second Women’s One-Day International – Taunton, 11am
May 29: Third Women’s One-Day International – Chelmsford, 1pm

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