England will “live to fight another day” in the Women’s World Cup after their disturbing one-wicket victory over New Zealand, says bowler Keith Cross.
The defending champions would probably be eliminated if they lost and found they needed eight runs with the last pair in stock.
No. 11, Anya Shrubsoul was on a winning streak to keep England in contention for the semi-finals.
“We have a win and we are still alive in this tournament,” Cross said.
“We need to regroup, take a breath, understand that we have two points on the board. That’s all that matters.”
England are now likely to reach the semi-finals if they win their remaining two matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Knowing that a loss to New Zealand at Eden Park would likely have thrown them off balance, England eliminated the hosts by 203, then went 176-4 with over nine overs to spare.
However, they managed to lose five wickets in 20 runs, leaving Shrubsole and Charlie Dean to win.
“It’s about finding ways to win, and today we found a way to win,” said pace bowler Cross.
“We don’t want to be too negative about the fact that we have this win on the board.
“We won the mandatory game against New Zealand on their home soil at Eden Park in front of the biggest crowd we’ve ever played in front of.”
Cross also praised fellow bowler Shrubsole, who recovered from being the last wicket to fall when England lost seven times against the West Indies earlier in the tournament.
Shrubsole led England to victory in the 2017 final against India, but also took the lead in the semi-final victory over South Africa.
“She actually apologized after the West Indies game,” Cross told BBC Sport.
“I knew she could do it. Having those moments early in the tournament makes it easier to deal with them again.”
England were on the brink of relegation after losing their first three games, but now found themselves level with fourth-placed India in the table.
Depending on the results, with the West Indies and India each having two games to play, England will have the opportunity to increase their net performance, at least if they win their last couple of matches.
“Tournament cricket is all about hitting the peak at the right time,” Cross, 30, said.
“As long as we can keep improving, which I think we have, hopefully we can make it to this playoff.”