Captain Heather Knight’s maiden T20I century helped England notch up a record-breaking 98-run victory over debutant Thailand in an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup outing in Canberra on Wednesday.
Knight blasted a majestic 108 not out from 66 balls to become the fourth batter to make a hundred at the event and send records tumbling.
England’s total of 176 for two, after being sent in to bat, was the side's highest T20I total and Knight’s unbeaten third-wicket stand of 169 with Natalie Sciver (59 not out) was the highest partnership for any wicket in Women’s T20 World Cup history.
Thailand managed 78 for seven from its 20 overs, with England’s victory by 98 runs the largest winning margin at the tournament.
All this was scarcely conceivable after a remarkable start to the game when the 2009 winner was reduced to seven for two. Both England openers were dismissed for ducks for just the second time in T20Is.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS |Women's World T20, As it Happened: England beats Thailand by 98 runs
Nattaya Boochatham, leading T20I wicket-taker in the world in 2019, sparked wild celebrations as her arm ball beat a charging Amy Jones and she was stumped the second ball.
Opening partner Danni Wyatt then perished for a golden duck, slicing Soraya Lateh to cover point where Wongpaka Liengprasert dived forward to take an excellent catch.
Just as in its defeat against South Africa in Perth, Sciver combined security with expansive stroke-play to grasp the impetus, scoring her third half-century in four innings.
Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd over backward square for a six to reach her half-century in 34 balls. She became the fourth England player to reach three figures with a cut for two in the final over.
Knight has a remarkable record at Manuka Oval, with all four of her T20I 50+ scores coming in Australia’s capital, the most of any woman at a single venue in the format. Nattakan Chantam top-scored with a 53-ball 32 in Thailand’s unsuccessful run chase.
For England, pacer Anya Shrubsole took three wickets for 21 runs, while Sciver also chipped in with the ball with figures of 2/5.