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June 27, 2011
England 132 for 9 (Greenway 48, Osborne 2-21) beat Australia 116 for 8 (Sthalekar 43, Colvin 2-16) by 16 runs
England Women revived their Twenty20 standing by beating Australia Women by 16 runs in the final of the Natwest quadrangular series at the Rose Bowl. After falling in the group stages of the World Twenty20 last year, England once again showed they belong on the top rung by winning all four of their games in this tournament.
The final lacked the atmosphere of the weekend games - Monday afternoons will struggle to draw large crowds - but it was a closely fought encounter that hinged on Lydia Greenway's career-best 48 from 36 balls that proved the difference between the sides.
Set 133 on a sluggish track thanks to Greenway, Australia were immediately under pressure. Arran Brindle had Leah Poulton caught in her first over before the spinners took control. Holly Colvin took the crucial wicket of Meg Lanning for 13 before Laura Marsh bowled Jess Cameron. Shelly Nitschke became Colvin's second wicket to leave Australia wobbling at 37 for 4 off 8.2 overs. Colvin finished with 2 for 16 from her four overs and was named Player of the Tournament for her seven wickets.
Lisa Sthalekar led a recovery with Alex Blackwell; the two added 73 to give England a scare but they couldn't quite generate the pace of scoring that Greenway had managed for England. Defending a modest total was always a tough task but England's fielding was superb.
England's batting effort was less fluent however. After a sound start they were grounding to a halt before Greenway - England's reigning player of the year - turned it around. She demonstrated solid composure in giving herself time to get in before accelerating in the latter stages of the innings. In the end she struck five boundaries in all, including a fine reverse-sweep through the wicketkeeper's legs. She received vital support from Arran Brindle who made 18. The pair were instrumental in England adding 53 in the last five overs.
The dynamic end masked a sluggish batting effort from England. Unable to come to terms with the slowness of the track they never quite got going despite a sound foundation. Charlotte Edwards, whose form has been so strong this tournament, made 21 before lofting Sthalekar to mid-off and Marsh ran herself out for 11.
Danielle Wyatt and Claire Taylor, who had been instrumental in England's win against India, both failed with Wyatt running down the wicket and yorking herself against Nitschke and Taylor playing across the line to fall lbw to Erin Osborne for 7. Sarah Taylor soon followed and England were rocking at 76 for 5 before the recovery started. By the time it finished England had enough.
Edwards praised the young players in the squad for their contributions to the win. "We have a great mix of players in the squad at the moment, some of the youngsters are really stepping up to the mark and everyone has contributed to the success," she said. "It's been fantastic to play in front of such good crowds during the series: the players enjoy it and it's great for the profile of the women's game."
England, Australia, India and New Zealand will now play a 50-over quadrangular series which starts on Thursday and England have recalled fast bowler Isa Guha to replace the injured Anya Shrubsole.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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