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Page last updated at 21:28 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 22:28 UK

England's batting to blame for exit - ECB women's chief

England captain Charlotte Edwards
England captain Charlotte Edwards reflects on the West Indies defeat

The England and Wales Cricket Board's women's chief Clare Connor has blamed England's shock exit at the Twenty20 World Cup on poor batting displays.

Defeats by Australia and the West Indies ended England's defence of their title and rendered their final Group A match against South Africa meaningless.

"We'll look at the area that didn't go well, which, in essence, was the batting," said Connor.

"The middle order failed to contribute in both games."

Opener Sarah Taylor top scored with 46 from 44 balls in Wednesday's opening defeat to Australia.

However, only Beth Morgan (17) and Lydia Greenway (14) reached double figures before Australia equalled England's 104 total and won the match on boundary countback.

A similar collapse cost England as they chased a 123 target against hosts West Indies on Friday. Playing for their tournament lives, England had looked set to overhaul the Windies' total after moving to 65-0 from nine overs.

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However, when captain Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor fell off successive deliveries, England's weakness down the order was once again exposed and they fell just two runs short.

"Both games have been really, really close," reflected Connor. "We bowled and fielded absolutely superbly, so there are some positives.

"I think the biggest learning experience for everyone is realising that if you make just a couple of mistakes in Twenty20 cricket, then the game suddenly races away from you."

The signs, however, had not been wholly encouraging for England in the build-up to the tournament.

After beating New Zealand in the World Twenty20 final at Lords last summer, England lost a series in the West Indies in December, and although they claimed a Twenty20 series victory over India in the spring, the tourists lost three of their five one-day matches in the subcontinent.

Connor, though, believes that England's fall from grace illustrates how the gap is narrowing between the perceived weaker teams and the sport's traditional elite, citing the Windies as an example.

"The standard is unarguably higher," said Connor. "These teams have raw talent with points to prove. They're closing the gap - we've seen the West Indies emerge over the last 18 months as a real force.

"We have got to see how we keep our curve going upwards, and make sure that we keep our world number one ranking and keep pushing the players to get better and better."

England conclude their campaign with a dead rubber against South Africa in St Kitts on Sunday.

New Zealand, beaten by England in last year's final, joined Australia and West Indies in the last four with a 47-run win over Sri Lanka.

Suzie Bates hit 50 off 43 balls as they made 154-7 from their 20 overs despite Sri Lanka skipper Chamani Sweneviratne taking 4-21 and then restricted their opponents to 107-8.

India enjoyed an easy nine-wicket win over Pakistan, thanks to an unbroken stand of 79 between Poonam Raut (54) and Mithali Raj (33), and they will book their place in the semi-finals if they beat Sri Lanka on Monday.

"All I did was go out and bat my hardest for my team," said Raut, whose run-a-ball innings included six boundaries and enabled India to reach 106-1 with 3.2 overs to spare.



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see also
England women bow out after loss
07 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Aussies beat England in thriller
05 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Taylor-made for success
03 May 10 |  Women's cricket
England's women defeat Sri Lanka
03 May 10 |  Women's cricket
England women win first warm-up
02 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Women's World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Women's cricket


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