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A RELIEVED England survived a scare during the chase to finally see off New Zealand and win the ICC Women’s World Cup for the third time in their history in Sydney yesterday.
Some fine bowling and a player-of-the-match performance from Nicky Shaw put England in command as she took four wickets to dispatch New Zealand for 166, and although Lucy Doolan responded with three wickets of her own England held on for a four-wicket win to take the world title for the first time since 1993.
Shaw again came to the rescue, hitting three boundaries late in the order to carry England within one run of victory before Holly Colvin hit one final four to launch wild celebrations from her teammates.
“This won’t sink in for a while, but this is an amazing team and it’s well deserved,” said England captain Charlotte Edwards.
“We made it hard work for ourselves but it’s a special day and I’ll treasure this for the rest of my life.
“We were up against a very good New Zealand team who never give up so we’re not surprised (with how they fought back).
“I was slightly jittery up there at one point but it’s a fantastic tournament and we played some good cricket.
“I’m just glad with how we got over the line.”
England started the chase well, with openers Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins taking their side almost half-way to their target after putting on 74 for the opening wicket.
Even after Sarah Taylor (39 off 45) scooped a Doolan delivery to Haidee Tiffen at middle wicket England still looked comfortable with Atkins continuing to bat well and player-of-the-tournament Claire Taylor proving more than capable of adding to the score.
But once Claire Taylor (21 off 30) was bowled by Aimee Mason at 109-2 England’s chase suddenly became in danger of derailing. Atkins fell shortly after when she was caught by a diving Sophie Devine off Doolan, before Edwards was caught behind by Rachel Priest – also off Doolan – for just 10 runs to leave England on 121-4 with 28 overs remaining.
Things could have become worse for England two overs later when Doolan thought she had claimed another wicket when the ball was caught after flighting off the pads of Lydia Greenway.
She did go seven overs later when she was caught by Amy Satterthwaite off Mason to leave England 28 shy of their target on 139-5. Beth Morgan fell soon after to leave England faltering on 149-6.
But Shaw steadied the ship before Holly Colvin hit a final four to win England the title.
Earlier New Zealand struggled early on as Kate Pulford, Suzie Bates and Satterthwaite all fell quickly to leave the White Ferns on 49-3.
Only captain Tiffen had put up much of a fight early on, hitting 30 runs off 56 balls, but when she too was caught behind by Sarah Taylor off Shaw New Zealand were left on 62-4 and looking on the verge of collapse.
“Obviously we made it hard for ourselves but full credit to Charlotte’s team. They played fantastic cricket,” said Tiffen.