As far as tight finishes in world tournaments go, Heather Knight's England have held their own since she took over as captain following the side's shock elimination in the 2016 World T20 semi-final. In the World Cup last year, a league-stage win against Australia off the final ball paved the way for a two-run, final-over victory against South Africa in the semi-final. A humdinger of a finish followed, in the final at a full-house Lord's, where they capped off their campaign with a nine-run triumph over India.
At the ongoing World T20, though, it had been relatively smooth sailing for the side - with dominant seven-wicket wins in their first two completed matches. That, however, changed on Sunday in their last group-stage match against the side that had knocked them out in the previous edition. With about 10,000 spectators in attendance, defending champions West Indies snared a last-over win at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium, thanks in part to a lacklustre outing from England - only three batsmen got into double-figures - and three dropped chances during the final leg of the 116 chase.
"In terms of what went wrong, I guess, ideally you want one of the top five to be there in the last two or three overs," Knight said of their batting, wary of the consequences a similar show may have during their semi-final clash against India on Thursday. "That's where you're going to start to push it forward and get those really big scores. I think a little more composure, just more staying calm in that sort of situation, that would have got it over the line. But obviously we have the semi-finals to make that right. And a massive game it's going to be against India.
"And the fielding, I think, a little bit more composure potentially would have got us over the line. But like I say, I can't question the girls' fight and actually to stay in the game like that under that sort of pressure, the crowd and the support for the West Indies was really pleasing. I think it's very difficult conditions. Those balls actually went very high with the lights. And fielding under the dark sky as well we haven't done well in this competition yet."
Knight, however, emphasised that the defeat might well have been the "learning" the youngsters in the side needed before they shift base to Antigua for the knockouts.
"I think it's a great experience for the girls," she said. "For some of the younger girls that haven't played in front of that sort of crowd, that sort of pressure and the atmosphere that it had, it will be great for them. It's a brilliant learning, I think. And what an amazing occasion it was.
"But to have a tight game like that and to see how we fought, how we stayed in the game, how we scrapped, that's what the team is about. And that's all I can ask for the girls."
Save for the superlative all-round show from Anya Shrubsole, who finished with 3.3-1-10-1 to follow up her 26-ball 29 at No. 8, the stand-out contribution came from Sophia Dunkley. In her maiden international innings after her debut two games ago, the 20-year-old smashed three fours and a six in her 30-ball 39 while adding 50 with Shrubsole for the seventh wicket.
"Yeah, she comes in at that No. 7, and it's quite a tricky place to bat, I think," Knight said. "You either come in when the team's in trouble like she did tonight, or you come in with not many balls left and you obviously want to score very quickly. That's why we've put her in that role. She scores quickly. She hits in unusual areas. So to show that composure under that amount of pressure, in front of that sort of amount of people, 10,000 people, whatever it was. So really pleased for her. She's worked so hard."
Heading into the semi-final against India, whom England outscored in a record-breaking run-fest in the T20 tri-series in Mumbai in March this year before surrendering meekly in their next encounter four days later, Knight will be wary of the challenges that await. First, the red-hot form of the opposition side, who were undefeated in the group phase. Second, the dearth of form among their frontline batsmen, none of whom feature in the top 20 on the run-scorers list. These, along with fitness concerns looming Kirstie Gordon, their second-highest wicket-taker, with six scalps, in the tournament behind Shrubsole.
"Yeah, she's fine. She had a back twinge," Knight said of Gordon, who left the field after bowling her allocation inside 15 overs. "She was actually struggling to finish that final over, just a little bit of back twinge going on, hamstrings. Yeah, decision to take her off. She obviously bowled very well. But she was in a lot of pain in the last few balls of the over."