England captain Heather Knight praised teenager Alice Capsey’s “fearlessness” after her masterful half-century led England to a second-successive Women’s T20 World Cup victory as they beat Ireland by four wickets in Paarl.
The 18-year-old struck a 21-ball fifty – England’s fastest in women’s T20 internationals – as they chased down 106 to win with 34 balls to spare.
England reached the target comfortably after Sophie Ecclestone took a double-wicket maiden as Ireland were bowled out for just 105, but there were a few warning sings as they lost six wickets during the chase.
Knight was full of compliments for Capsey, who had been selected for the tournament despite shattering her collarbone and undergoing an operation to insert plates and screws back in December.
“She’s done amazingly to get back from that collarbone. We were obviously expecting to not have her available so to see her come back and overcome that injury, and mentally it can be quite tricky as well,” Knight said.
“So the way that she’s been able to come back and work through that and come back is brilliant.
“She fits in with how we want to play the game, that fearlessness, she goes out and plays in one way and really takes on the powerplay which is what we want from our top three players.
Capsey was one of seven England played selected in the inaugural Women’s Premier League auction, by the Delhi Capitals while she was on the field in Paarl, with Knight chosen to join Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The England players were left to decide whether they would follow the draw in the immediate build-up to their T20 match, or find out afterwards, which Knight admitted was a slightly odd situation.
“It was very weird actually,” the England captain said, adding: “We tried to have a team meeting before we got on the bus and all the Indians were watching it in our hotel and we had to move the meeting because there was lots of cheering.
“So it was strange and something we’d never experienced and you don’t often get it in the men’s game when it’s on matchday, so it was all (about) trying to manage it as best we could.
“(We were) trying to do what individuals wanted and also trying to (keep) our main focus on the game.”