Knight admits remaining England T20 World cup games all ‘must-win’

Commonwealth Games

Skipper Heather Knight has warned England they have no margin for error if they are to keep their dreams of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup glory alive.

Knight’s side slipped to a six-wicket defeat by South Africa at the Waca in their opening Group B fixture after posting just 123 for eight from their full allocation.

They face Thailand and then Pakistan in Canberra next week knowing they can afford no more slip-ups.

Knight told Sky Sports: “We obviously have to pick ourselves up quite quickly from this defeat.

“We’ve only got a couple of days’ turn-around to get there and obviously, every game is going to be a must-win game for us now.

“But we’ll assess the game, try to park it very quickly and move on because we’ve got a really important couple of games down in Canberra.”

FULL SCORECARD: T20 World Cup, South Africa won by 6 wickets

An enterprising start from opener Amy Jones, who scored 23 from 20 balls, and an impressive 50 from Natalie Sciver after England had lost the toss and been put in were not enough to set the South Africans a testing target.

However, their bowlers kept them in it and with Marizanne Kapp and skipper Dane Van Niekerk having gone for 38 and 46 respectively with the score on 90, they had clawed themselves back into the game until Mignon De Preez, making a record 100th T20 appearance for her country, let loose.

She launched Katherine Brunt into the stands from the third ball of the final over and then followed it up with a four to win it.

Knight said: “We really fought hard, but ultimately we didn’t have enough runs on the board. But credit to the bowlers for the way they took it so deep and almost won us the game in the end.”

For Du Preez, it was the perfect moment to bring her experience to bear as South Africa secured a first World Cup win over England.

She said: “I’m actually lost for words. I’ve always known I had it in me to be a match-winner for the team and to finally do that in my 100th game, it’s truly special.

“I wouldn’t say I wasn’t nervous, there’s always a time were you feel can you really do it, but for me, this was an opportunity to step up.

“I’m a senior player, I’ve played in 100 T20s – that’s the most experience in the team and I was the person who needed to finish it off for the team.”