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England on course for semi-finals after thumping Pakistan


England are one win away from reaching the Women's World Cup semi-finals following a nine-wicket thumping of Pakistan in Christchurch.

Victory over Bangladesh this weekend in their final group fixture will secure Heather Knight's team a spot in the last four and complete some turnaround after the defending champions lost their first three games.

Defeats to Australia, West Indies and South Africa left England's hopes of reaching the knockout phase hanging by a thread but they have since rallied to see off India, New Zealand and Pakistan, with their latest win moving them up to fourth in the standings, above India on net run-rate.

Pakistan were rolled for 105 in 41.3 overs at Hagley Oval as seamer Katherine Brunt (3-17) made her first major impact of the tournament and spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3-18) also took three wickets.

Opener Danni Wyatt then punished Pakistan for dropping her on four with a dashing 76 not out from 68 balls as England reached their target with 184 balls to spare - Wyatt sharing an unbroken second-wicket stand of 87 from 89 deliveries with skipper Knight (24no off 36).

Thursday's earlier washout between South Africa and West Indies means the Proteas have joined Australia in securing a semi-final place, with the final two spots now really between England, West Indies and India, although New Zealand do have a slim outside chance.

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