England need to be more clinical admits Sophia Dunkley on eve of World Cup clash with Pakistan

Sophia Dunkley believes England are well prepared for Thursday’s World Cup game against Pakistan, but does admit her side need to become more clinical.

England enjoyed a nerve-racking one-wicket victory over New Zealand last Sunday to boost their hopes of making the semi-finals. 

The win in Auckland was just their second of the tournament, which helped to ease pressure on an England team which kicked off the defence of their title with three straight defeats.

Nevertheless, Dunkley believes that the narrow victory over New Zealand and the earlier win over India stand the team in good stead ahead of the Pakistan clash.

She said: "I think it felt like the last two games were almost semi-finals in themselves for us because, had we lost, it puts us in a terrible position, so I think having those experiences and those feelings will be great," the England middle-order batter said.

"Hopefully we can get a couple more wins that aren't as nerve-wracking and aren't as close, but good to have that experience for sure."

Sophia Dunkley during the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup match between Australia and England at Seddon Park in Hamilton

Closing out games is not a new issue for the side captained by Heather Knight. England lacked a clinical edge in their earlier games against West Indies and South Africa - both narrow defeats.

Dunkley admits that this is a concern which her side will need to resolve if they hope to keep hold of their world title crown.

"I think for me it (the main focus point to improve) would be finishing games off and getting that clinically done," she said. "I think the other day we obviously lost a few wickets late on in the game and it put us under a bit of pressure.

Sophia Dunkley (right) during the One Day International match at New Road One, Worcester.

"So I think having that set batter there at the end would definitely do us the world of good, so definitely looking to finish a few more games off going forward."

Pakistan will enter Thursday's game on the back of a victory over West Indies. Despite this, Dunkley is relishing the challenge saying: "I think we're always under pressure a little bit throughout the World Cup because it is such a tight tournament.

"But I think, coming off two wins, we're feeling pretty confident in the group and we're in a quite a good place, so looking forward to the challenge. It's quite an exciting opportunity."

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