9th over: England 69-2 (Sciver 33, Knight 13) Sadia once more. She looks a bowler you could get after, always at risk at dragging down a delivery or two, but again proves tricky to get away. That is, until the fifth delivery, which Sciver punches wide of mid on for four despite the best attempts of the fielders in the deep.
8th over: England 62-2 (Sciver 28, Knight 11) Aliya Riaz into the attack, with England having taken only 12 from the past three overs. But this pair are the standout talents in the England side and find their mojo again here. Knight leans forward and drives sweetly through the covers for four, then dinks a little outside edge down to third man for another boundary. Ten from the over and effortlessly too.
7th over: England 52-2 (Sciver 27, Knight 2) Pakistan needed someone other than Baig to exert some control and they got it from Aiman last up. Sadia, the left-arm spinner, is charged with maintaining the momentum. A very neat start with a single off the first then a couple of dots but a half-tracker gets pulled out to the midwicket boundary for a couple. Nicely bowled otherwise though, four from the over, and Pakistan have edged themselves back into the game.
6th over: England 48-2 (Sciver 24, Knight 1) That brings the England captain to the crease. She scurries a single off the last to get under way but that’s a really strong return from Aiman. Just two from the over plus that wicket.
WICKET! Wyatt c Muneeba b Aiman 16 (England 46-2)
Wyatt has lived something of a charmed life here but there’s no surviving this time. Aiman returns and bowls short and wide but the England opener can only guide the ball into the hands of point (who is now unencumbered by the early evening sunshine).
5th over: England 46-1 (Wyatt 16, Sciver 23) Baig continues and England could be tempted to just see her off – her two overs have gone for 11, the other two 29. Sciver again beats the cover fielder, this time picking up three, then Wyatt is a whisker away from playing on. Six from another very fine over.
4th over: England 40-1 (Wyatt 14, Sciver 19) Spin for the first time as Nida Dar comes into the attack. Sciver – looking in ominously good touch – gets the scoop out and picks up four over the keeper’s head, scampers down the track and drives sweetly for four more, then punches through the covers for another.
3rd over: England 28-1 (Wyatt 14, Sciver 7) A big appeal as Wyatt is hit on the back thigh pad but this time there’s nothing doing for Pakistan. And a few singles are all England can add from another tidy Baig over.
2nd over: England 24-1 (Wyatt 14, Sciver 5) A huge let off for Wyatt here – she ships Aiman towards point, but the fielder seemed to lose it in the shaft of sunlight beaming across the Manuka Oval. Instead she picks up four runs. And this is a messy over from Aiman – a couple of wides keeps things ticking over for England, then Wyatt trots down the pitch and lofts over backward point for four. From the last there’s a little dab for four more and England, who could have been eight for two, collect 16 from the over.
1st over: England 8-1 (Wyatt 1, Sciver 4) So Jones departs rather unhappily and, after a duck against Thailand, must now be feeling a bit of pressure. More importantly England are under early pressure – Sciver settles thing by caressing her first ball through the covers for four.
WICKET! Jones lbw b Baig 2 (England 4-1)
Diana Baig opens the bowling for Pakistan and finds a nice bit of swing through the air. Wyatt opens the face and runs the ball down to third man to get England off the mark. And it’s a no ball, meaning Amy Jones’s first delivery is a free hit … but she steps to the off and swishes without making contact. Jones does get off the mark from the next though, squeezing the ball into the leg side for a couple. Next up though she’s trapped in front, playing across the line and the finger goes up. Jones reviews but the ball is clipping the bails.
The players are out, the anthems are sung and we’re about to get under way.
A few stories to catch up on while we await the start of play:
Pakistan win it and opt to have a bowl.
Hello all. So here we go again – England face a World Cup fixture with no margin for error. Heather Knight’s side bounced back from their opening defeat to South Africa with a resounding win over Thailand but cannot afford another slip-up against a Pakistan team who were impressive in their surprise win over West Indies. Victory for either side would be a huge stride towards the semi-finals.
England will be the favourites but Danni Wyatt is taking nothing for granted. “They’re a quality side,” she said. “We’ve played a lot against them recently in Malaysia, so personally I know what I’m going to come up against and it’s about being clear and getting ready to face that first ball. I think everybody’s ready to go and hopefully get another win under our belt.”
Play starts at 8am GMT, 7pm local time in Canberra.
at 2.51am EST