Poor fitness levels lambasted as England Women suffer World T20 semi-final collapse against Australia

 
Ross McLean
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England slumped to 127-7 despite a positive start (Source: Getty)

England Women’s coach Mark Robinson chastised his side’s fitness levels after they missed out on a place in the World Twenty20 final following a five-run defeat to Australia in Delhi.

Australia skipper Meg Lanning top scored with 55 as Australia posted 132-6 before openers Charlotte Edwards and Tammy Beaumont shared 67 for England’s first wicket inside 10 overs.

But the loss of regular wickets blighted England as they slipped to 127-7 as Australia kept alive their bid for a fourth straight World T20 title. Either New Zealand or the West Indies will be their opponents in Sunday’s final in Kolkata.

England, meanwhile, missed out on their first final since 2010 and their physical conditioning came under fire from Robinson, as did their composure in the field.

“Athleticism is a gift, so there is not much we can do about that, but anaerobic fitness we can do something about and we will,” said Robinson. “There is a little stage fright and we were guilty of that in the field, but we are not fit enough.”

England captain Edwards, the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 202, insisted that her side lacked self-assurance.

“We know a lot about each other and there are no secrets but Australia held their nerve and we didn’t, and that is probably the difference,” said Edwards.

Opener Alyssa Healy struck a swift 25 before Lanning’s composed half-century proved the foundation for Australia’s innings, despite England seamer Natalie Sciver taking 2-22.

Fragile batting proved England’s downfall as they succumbed despite requiring 45 runs to win from seven overs with nine wickets in hand.