Women's World Cup: England edge closer to semi-finals after impressive nine-wicket win over Pakistan

Heather Knight's side lost the opening three games of the tournament, but three successive wins now leaves them on the brink of reaching the semi-finals.

After disappointing losses to Australia, West Indies and South Africa, England's World Cup defence started dismally.

However, successive victories over India, New Zealand and now Pakistan have put them right back into contention for a semi-finals spot.

Heather Knight's team now sit fourth in the standings, and a win against Bangladesh on Saturday will be enough to book them a spot in the final four.

England needed a comfortable win to build up their confidence, and that's exactly what they earned in their victory over Pakistan on Thursday morning.

They sliced through Pakistan's batting line-up, dismissing them for just 105 - a total England managed to chase in just 20 overs.

Katherine Brunt has so far struggled for form in New Zealand, but she shone when needed against Pakistan, taking a wicket with her first ball before going on to take three for 17.

Sophie Ecclestone joined her in taking three wickets, putting her firmly on top of the list for wickets taken during the tournament.

Tammy Beaumont was the only batter to be dismissed for England, having only made two from 12.

However, the following partnership of Danni Wyatt and captain Heather Knight proved to be a match-winning combination, with the former hitting 76 from 68 despite having only made 56 runs throughout the entire competition prior to the match.

Knight's 24 from 36 was enough to hit the target and secure an impressive nine-wicket victory over a Pakistan side that have now lost five of their six matches in the World Cup.

England will be hoping for more of the same when they travel to Wellington this weekend, with Bangladesh also looking for just their second win of the tournament.

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