COLOMBO: Former champions England eased into the women's World Twenty20 final with a seven-wicket win over out-classed New Zealand at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Thursday.
In a one-sided semi-final played in front of near-empty stands, New Zealand were restricted to 93-8 after being sent in to bat and England surpassed the modest target with 16 deliveries to spare.
Skipper Charlotte Edwards led the charge for the 2009 champions with 33 off 37 balls, while Sarah Taylor remained unbeaten on 21 which included the only six of the match.
New Zealand opener Amy Satterthwaite top-scored with 30, but none of the other batters managed 20 against the steady spin bowling by the English women.
Off-spinner Danielle Wyatt grabbed 2-15 in three overs and left-arm spinner Holly Colvin had the same figures in four overs.
England await the winner of Friday's second semi-final between defending champions Australia and the West Indies in the final on Sunday.
“This has been our best performance with the ball so far,” Edwards said.
“It's turned a lot more here than in Galle where we played our league games.
“It was tough but I'm really pleased we got over the line. It was a good all-round effort.”
New Zealand captain Suzie Bates, whose dismissal in the first over triggered the collapse, admitted her team was outplayed.
“England are the number one side and we knew we had to play well,” she said. “We came up a few runs short but I am proud of the way we tried to defend a small total.”
The International Cricket Council's aim to promote the women's game by bunching the men's and women's semi-finals and final together at the same venue drew a lukewarm response from fans.
Barely 100 spectators watched start of the match and the 35,000-capacity galleries began filling only towards the end as the men's semi-final between Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka later in the evening approached.
New Zealand 93-8 in 20 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 30, Danielle Wyatt 2-15, Holly Colvin 2-15) England 94-3 in 17.2 overs (Charlotte Edwards 33, Sarah Taylor 21 not out) Player of the match: Charlotte Edwards (ENG)