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Women's World Cup: Reaching The Finals Wasn't A Possibility At One Time, Says England Opener Danni Wyatt

England lost their first three matches to Australia, West Indies and South Africa, leaving them on the verge of a shock early exit.

By IANS News March 31, 2022 • 17:52 PM

England opener Danni Wyatt on Thursday admitted of thinking at a point in the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup when reaching the final was not a possibility.

England lost their first three matches to Australia, West Indies and South Africa, leaving them on the verge of a shock early exit.

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But the defending champions fought back to defeat India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh to reach the semi-finals against South Africa. In the clash for reaching the final, Wyatt stamped her authority with a magnificent 129, her first century in World Cup and stitched a stand of 116 with Sophia Dunkley to help England reach 293/8. In response, South Africa were bowled out for 156, sending England to the final against Australia on Sunday with a 137-run victory.

"Every game since that India game has been a knockout match. So today was like any other match that we've played in the last few games. After those first three games, I didn't think this would be the case, so we'll prepare well for the final and we obviously really want to win that trophy after the start we had especially," said Wyatt in the post-match virtual press conference.

Wyatt, who was dropped five times during her knock of 129, was really pleased with how she made the reprieves count to play a stellar hand in England's win. "Really chuffed with how it went today. I woke up this morning and really wanted to contribute to a win today and that's what happened obviously, got dropped a few times but that's cricket and you've got to cash in on days like today. So, really happy with how it went."

Wyatt, who took the Player of the Match award, was extremely happy for left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who earned a maiden international five-fer on her way to 6/36 and also, the best figures in the World Cup so far.

"Soph bowled exceptionally well again today, she's an absolute goat (greatest of all time) and I'm so chuffed for that's going to be the first of many fifers. She was absolutely unplayable today especially with that pace and dip - bit of turn as well that she was getting, I actually said to Nat (Sciver) on the pitch, how she'd actually go in men's international cricket. I think she's bowling exceptionally well at the minute and she's not fun to face in the net, that's for sure."

In the ODIs, Wyatt mainly bats down the order, especially in the first two matches when Lauren Winfield-Hill opened alongside Tammy Beaumont. But with Winfield-Hill struggling to get runs, Wyatt was given opening duties and after taking time to find her groove, it seems that now she is ready to be an opener for England in ODIs for a long time.

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"I've had a weird career, especially in my ODI career been up and down like a yo-yo. But I'm happy about wherever the team want me to bat. Obviously, been given the chance to open the batting, which is where I want to bat and it's my job to get the team off to a good start and take the opportunity. Really happy of how it went today. Hopefully, this can be the start of a long, successful career at the top of the order."

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