Group Stage - Round Five March 30, 2005

Australia and England win, but India slip up

Cricinfo staff

England 180 for 2 (Edwards 99, Taylor 55*) beat South Africa 174 for 6 (Brits 46) by eight wickets

Lucy Pearson: two wickets for England © Getty Images

England's women wasted no time in getting back to winning ways, as they brushed aside the hosts, South Africa, to secure an eight-wicket victory that will all but guarantee them a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Charlotte Edwards was the mainstay of England's innings. Chasing 180 for victory, Edwards racked up 14 fours in her 133-ball innings, and though she was dismissed one short of a richly deserved hundred, Clare Taylor was on hand to seal the contest in style. With one needed for victory and more than 10 overs to spare, Taylor clobbered Shandre Fritz for the only six of the match, to bring up her half-century and cue the celebrations.

Following their dispiriting loss to India on Sunday, England were back on song with the ball and in the field, as they restricted South Africa to 174 for 6 from their 50 overs. Isa Guha and Lucy Pearson grabbed two wickets apiece, while Arran Brindle executed a fine run-out to remove Fritz for 19. Only Cri-Zelda Brits, who top-scored with 46, was able to hang around long enough to set a competitive total, but it never looked like being enough.

New Zealand 184 for 9 (McGlashan 57) beat India 168 for 9 (Milliken 5-25) by 16 runs

Following their top-of-the-table victory over England on Sunday, India lost ground on the new log leaders, Australia, as they stumbled to a 16-run defeat against New Zealand at the Technikon Oval in Pretoria. Despite being set a modest target of 185 in 50 overs, India faltered in the face of a hostile spell from Louise Milliken, who finished with 5 for 25, as they collapsed from 136 for 3 to 162 for 9 in 38 chaotic deliveries.

The match seemed to be going to plan for India, after they won the toss and asked New Zealand to bat. Neetu David bamboozled her way to 5 for 32 with her left-arm spin, and the wicketkeeper, Anju Jain, held onto three catches and two stumpings. Only Sara McGlashan, with 57 from 73 balls, was able to get to grips with the attack, although Aimee Mason (36) and Rebecca Rolls (23) both made starts.

Milliken, however, soon rocked India with two quick wickets (10 for 2), and though Anjum Chopra and Mithali Raj battled back with a 91-run stand for the third wicket, India were chugging along at a run-rate of less than three an over, and looked ill-prepared for a late push. So it proved, as Milliken returned to make the breakthrough, and India's tail folded meekly.

Australia 58 for 2 beat Sri Lanka 57 (Nitschke 3-5) by eight wickets

Emma Liddell: two wickets for Australia © Getty Images
Australia confirmed their status as favourites for the Women's World Cup by marching to an effortless eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Hatfield. Shelley Nitschke epitomised a suffocating performance by taking 3 for 5 in six overs, as Sri Lanka used up almost 39 overs in making a pathetic 57. Shashikala Siriwardena top-scored with 14 from 40 balls, while Julie Hayes and Emma Liddell both took two wickets.

Australia, in reply, hardly broke sweat. Lisa Keightley and Belinda Clark strolled to a first-wicket partnership of 52, as the match was wrapped up with more than 33 overs to spare.

West Indies 162 for 2 (Nero 71*, Lavine 66*) beat Ireland 159 for 6 (Joyce 37) by eight wickets

West Indies eased to an eight-wicket win over Ireland at the Laudium Oval, thanks to half-centuries from Juliano Nero and Pamela Lavine. Ireland, who have yet to win a match in the tournament, had given themselves an outside chance of pulling off an upset by posting a competitive 159 for 6 after losing the toss and being asked to bat first, but in the end it wasn't enough.

Ireland's openers, Cecelia Joyce (37) and Anne Linehan (25), added 79 for the first wicket, before Catriona Beggs (31) and Una Budd (21) completed a spirited performance by adding 40 for the sixth wicket.