England may have secured qualification for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 semi-finals but wicket-keeper batter Amy Jones says her side is still searching for a ‘complete performance’ as they prepare to conclude their group stage against Pakistan.
An 11-run victory against India at St George’s Park on Saturday made it three wins from three and England is now looking to seal the top spot with a victory over a Pakistan side whose slim qualification hopes rest on a win here and an Ireland victory over India.
Jones struck 40 from 27 deliveries against India and believes the squad is embracing head coach Jon Lewis’ aggressive batting blueprint.
“We’ve had three good games, but we keep saying we’re still searching for the complete performance. In terms of how we’ve gone about those three games, I think it’s been brilliant,” said Jones.
“It has been an exciting way to play, Sitting in the dugout watching the others bat as well is brilliant and the way everyone’s going about it means we’re in a really good place,” she added.
Despite slipping to 29 for three and 80 for four in Gqeberha, a half-century from Nat Sciver-Brunt along with Jones’ impressive knock powered England to 151 for seven.
In-form spinners Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn were key to restricting India in reply and they will now hope to keep their momentum going against Pakistan.
“The way we want to go about it, being so positive, entertaining and trying to inspire people, there could have been a bit of cautiousness. Because we’ve all bought into that, it just makes it a lot simpler and there’s not really a lot of doubt,” said Jones.
“When you know you’ve got the backing of everyone in the team to go out and stick to your strengths and you’re still trying to entertain, play the most positive cricket we can and put them under pressure at all times, it’s a fun way to play cricket,” she added.
On the other hand, Pakistan all-rounder Aliya Riaz insisted they will not change their own approach following slender defeats to the West Indies and India which have left their qualification hopes out of their hands.
“We have the same plan. We will aim for a win in the next match and we will try to finish the tournament on a good note,” said Aliya.
“The way we played the first two matches well, the way we played attacking cricket, with the same strike rate, fast and quick, we will play matches in the same way and win,” she added.
Aliya was almost the hero for Pakistan in the final over of their match against the West Indies, hitting consecutive boundaries to leave them needing five runs from the last two balls for the win.
She was subsequently dismissed by Shamilia Connell as Pakistan fell just short but spin bowler Sadia Iqbal said her side will need a similar level of effort and courage to challenge England.
“England is a very big side and a top team. They have won all their matches in the pool, so it will be a good match and a tough match like the previous matches,” she said.
“The team is doing its best and we will do our best against England too,” she added.