England are a win away from the Women's Cricket World Cup semi-finals after a convincing win over Pakistan ©Getty Images

Holders England are a win away from qualifying for the semi-finals of the Women’s Cricket World Cup after a convincing victory over Pakistan in Christchurch.

The defending champions position had looked perilous earlier in the tournament after they lost their opening three matches, but a third successive win today, by nine wickets, ensures their destiny is in their own hands going into their final group match against Bangladesh on Sunday (March 27).

The tone of Pakistan’s innings was set right at the start, with opening batter Nahida Khan dismissed first ball when she was caught by England captain Heather Knight off the bowling of Katherine Brunt.

Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals with fellow opener Sidra Amin top scoring with 32.

Brunt finished with figures of 3-17 off eight overs, while spinner Sophie Ecclestone claimed 3-18 off eight and a half overs, as Pakistan lost their last four wickets for 10 runs to finish on 105 all out.

England lost an early wicket in their reply when Tammy Beaumont was leg before wicket to Diana Baig for just two runs.

From that point onwards it was plain sailing, as Danni Wyatt’s 76 off 68 balls, with 11 fours, saw England coast home by nine wickets inside 20 overs.

In the day’s other match, there was no result in the contest between South Africa and the West Indies at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

South Africa reached 61 for four off 10.4 overs before the rain came and curtailed the match.

Victory moves England on to fourth place and six points, and the commanding nature of their win against Pakistan moves their net run rate on to 0.778.

India have the same points total, but their net run rate of 0.768 means they are now in fifth place, with both England and India both having one match left to play.

Pakistan are now bottom of the table with two points, with South Africa and West Indies in second and third respectively from the point they each earned from the no result, putting them on nine and seven respectively.

Tomorrow’s match in Wellington sees unbeaten Australia, who currently sit top of the table, with 12 points, up against Bangladesh, who currently have two points.