Paarl, Feb 13 (PTI) Top-order batter Alice Capsey smashed a stunning 22-ball 51 to steer England to a four-wicket win over neighbours Ireland in their Women's T20 World Cup group match here on Monday.
Capsey, who was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 75 lakh during the Women's Premier League auctions on Monday, struck as many as 10 fours during her whirlwind knock that blew Ireland away and helped England notch up the win -- their second consecutive one -- with 34 balls to spare.
Chasing a paltry 106 for a win, England were 69 for 1 at the end of powerplay overs with Capsey going strong with a flurry of boundaries after opener Sophia Dunkley (4) was out cheaply in the first over.
England huffed and puffed towards the target after Capsey's dismissal in the second ball of the seventh over. Nat Sciver-Brunt (5), who was bought for a whopping Rs 3.2 crore by Mumbai Indians in the WPL auctions, got out cheaply, so also captain Heather Knight (14) and wicketkeeper Amy Jones (12).
But Capsey's pyrotechnics -- strike rate of 231.8 -- and the meagre target meant that England easily crossed the line, reaching 107 for 6 in 14.2 overs with Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Sophie Ecclestone remaining not out on 5 and 0 respectively.
For Ireland, Cara Murray took three wickets for 15 runs while Orla Prendergast and Arlene Kelly got one each.
Earlier, the England spin trio of Ecclestone (3/13), Sarah Glenn (3/19) and Charlie Dean (2/26) wrecked havoc on the Ireland batters to skittle them out for 105 in 18.2 overs.
Opting to bat, Ireland suffered a batting collapse as they were stifled by the England spin trio. Only the top four Ireland batters could reach double-digit figures.
Ireland began on a decent note with Gaby Lewis (36) and Amy Hunter (15) stitching 35 runs from 5.1 overs before the latter got dismissed. They were still in a decent situation when Lewis was out in the third ball of the 13th to be 80 for 3.
But soon, Ireland fizzled out as they lost seven wickets for just 25 runs in 5.5 overs (35 balls).
Lewis was the top-scorer for Ireland and her 37-ball 36 had five fours. The opening stand involving Lewis and Hunter was the highest for Ireland.
Ecclestone, who was bought by UP Warriorz in the WPL auctions, got two wickets in two balls in the 13th over -- that of Lewis and Eimear Richardson (0) -- but could not complete her hat-trick. She also had the crucial wicket of Ireland captain Laura Delany (12).
Pacers Lauren Bell and Katherine Sciver-Brunt took a wicket each.
Ireland Women: 105 in 18.2 overs (Gaby Lewis 36; Sophie Ecclestone 3/13, Sarah Glenn 3/19).
England Women: 107 for 6 in 14.2 overs (Alice Capsey 51; Cara Murray 3/15).