By the time England play Pakistan later today, they could already have qualified for the semi-finals of WWT20. If West Indies fail to beat India, England are through, even if they lose to Pakistan by a million runs. (Though they might still prefer to top the group and avoid a New Zealand semi-final.)
But if West Indies do beat India, England have to be careful – as we showed earlier, if Pakistan win it will all come down to Net Run Rate; and a Pakistan victory by as little as 12 runs could be enough to send them through at England’s expense.
Pakistan have played six T20s against England, of which England have won five and Pakistan just one; but there is an important lesson in the one game Pakistan won, back in 2013.
The teams played a “double-header” at Loughborough and England won the morning match at a cruise by 70 runs, with Sarah Taylor hitting a half-century and Charlotte Edwards also in good form, smashing 46 off 37 balls.
England then made two fateful selection decisions for the afternoon encounter – resting Taylor and dropping Edwards right down the order to No. 9. Chasing just 116, they suffered a late-order collapse (sound familiar?) and were bowled out off the final ball, falling one run short of Pakistan’s total.
In short, England underestimated Pakistan and paid the price – it is a mistake they can not afford to make again today!