Skipper Charlotte Edwards anchored a comfortable chase as England sailed into the final of the Women's World Twenty20 with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first semi-final on Thursday.
The 2009 champions got an early, important breakthrough when they ran out rival skipper Suzie Bates before they restricted New Zealand to 93 for eight wickets at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Edwards returned to hit 33 off 37 balls as England overwhelmed the target with 2.4 overs to spare to book a berth in Sunday's final where they meet either Australia or West Indies. Put into bat in a rematch of the 2009 final, two-time runner up New Zealand lost their skipper Bates to the fifth delivery but Amy Satterthwaite (30), the other opener, refused to throw in the towel.
England's sharp fielding did not allow easy runs and New Zealand managed just six boundaries, three from Satterthwaite's blade, in their entire innings.
Down the order, Nicola Browne (18) and Katey Martin (19) tried their best but the 100-mark still eluded New Zealand. For England, spinners Danielle Wyatt (2-15) and Holly Colvin (2-15) shared four wickets between them.
In contrast, England's chase began on a strong note with Edwards and Laura Marsh (11) adding 32 runs for the opening stand. Edwards, adjudged player of the match, fell in the 11th over but Sarah Taylor (21 not out) and Lydia Greenway (22) batted fluently as England maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament.
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)