Defending champion England also enhanced its semifinal prospects on Thursday when it beat Pakistan by nine wickets to move into fourth place.

Defending champion England also enhanced its semifinal prospects on Thursday when it beat Pakistan by nine wickets to move into fourth place.

Katherine Brunt took a wicket with the first ball of the match and went on to take 3-17 as England bowled out Pakistan for 105 in 41.3 overs after winning the toss on a greenish pitch at Hagley Park, Christchurch.

Opener Danni Wyatt made an unbeaten 76 from 68 balls and England improved its net run-rate as it reached its winning target with almost 31 overs to spare.

England’s win was impressive and continued a strong form improvement after it began its title defense with consecutive losses.

Brunt was superb in helpful conditions, striking early to leave Pakistan 53-4. Sophie Ecclestone then took 3-18 as England took full advantage of the toss.

Wyatt has been in mixed form throughout the tournament but came into her own as an opener Thursday. Batting conditions were difficult but she chanced her arm and her first World Cup half century included 11 fours.

“I’m really pleased to have the win but a big shout out to Katherine Brunt, who bowled her heart out today,” Wyatt said. “We wanted to capitalize on any width and go hard and go big. It was a sensible innings by me as I wanted to get over the line and get among the runs.”

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