A maiden, unbeaten T20I ton by skipper Heather Knight powered England to a comprehensive win over Thailand in their record-filled Women’s T20 World Cup fixture on Wednesday, February 26.
In the process, Knight became the first England batter – male or female – to notch up a century in all three formats of the game.
England found themselves in a sticky situation, when openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt both fell for a duck, leaving them tottering at 7-2. Knight and Nat Sciver hardly put a foot wrong thereafter, combining for a 169-run stand, the highest partnership for the side in a women’s T20I game, helping England post 176/2.
Test 💯 ✅
ODI 💯 ✅
IT20 💯 ✅
Our 1st cricketer to do all three! 🦁 pic.twitter.com/CNNNkdP6Nl
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 26, 2020
“It’s nice to get a hundred, and it’s nice to get the win,” Knight said, after the 98-run win in Canberra. “Nat [Sciver] and I wanted to stay positive and keep our intent – batting where we do, you sometimes need to rebuild before you can counter-punch and build again at the end.”
The first six of the game came in the 13th over, off Knight’s bat, a slog sweep that sailed over deep backward square. She slammed three more sixes, as well as 13 fours, reaching the three-figure mark in just 63 balls, and ending on an unbeaten 66-ball 108. Sciver, at the other end, helped herself to 59 off 52 balls.
Heather Knight's last four innings at Canberra's Manuka Oval:
▶️ 51 v 🇦🇺, 2017
▶️ 67 v 🇮🇳, 2020
▶️ 78 v 🇦🇺, 2020
▶️ 108* v 🇹🇭 TODAY
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 26, 2020
The ‘counter-punch’, as she mentioned, took shape in the 16th over, when the duo took 15 runs from Chanida Sutthiruang’s second over. They bettered the tally in the 18th over, extracting 17 runs, with Knight jumping from 78 to 91, hitting a four and a six off back-to-back deliveries. In total, they looted 60 runs from the final five overs.
Knight also passed 1000 runs in the format, becoming the seventh England player to do so in women’s T20Is.
“I was quite nervous before the game, but sometimes, I bat my best when I’ve got a few nerves around,” Knight remarked. “I like batting at Canberra, I think it suits my game, and I’m really happy to get an T20I ton because I’ve put a lot of work into developing my game in this format.”
In response, Thailand could only manage 78-7 in 20 overs, handing England their second-biggest win in women’s T20Is.