February 7, 2003

England Women beat India Women by 90 runs to secure third place

England women have beaten India women in the Women's Cricket World Series at Lincoln, New Zealand today by 90 runs in the play off for third and fourth place.

The win means England move up the world rankings, from their position of fifth at the last world cup in 2000, to third.

England Captain, Clare Connor speaking after the match said "it was fantastic to beat India by such a convincing margin today after yesterday's victory off the last ball. Our overall game was excellent today with Kathryn Leng batting superbly for 80. We have discussed the need to post 190 plus as a winning total.

The bowlers then bowled aggressively, and straight, as we have talked about and the whole team effort in the field was first class. As it turned out, today's game was the most important match of the tournament for us because we had a chance to move up the rankings to third in the world; and we took that opportunity".

England won the toss and elected to bat, having defended a winning score of 208 against India team. Today, England were all out for 191; Kathryn Leng making 80 from 109 balls, her highest one-day score for England. India missed two chances to run her out, when she was on 25 and again on 38, but Leng remained composed and drove the Indian attack with power, particularly when her half century was secure.

England reached their 150 in the thirty-fifth over with 3 wickets down, having seen off a feisty opening spell of pace bowling from Goswami, the player who had missed the chance to score the winning run in yesterday's game which England won by one run.

The experienced spinner Neetu David, who together with Al-Khadir ripped through the England middle order once Arran Thompson had been run out three overs later, eventually bowled Leng. David bowled England Captain, Clare Connor for 2; Al-Khadir had Laura Newton stumped by Naik for 4 and bowled Dawn Holden for 6.

With England on 164-8, a recovery was led by England's leading wicket taker Clare Taylor and Laura Harper, who put on 24 before Taylor was run out for 14. Taylor's batting has improved considerably in recent years, and she has passed her previous highest one-day score twice in this Series following a successful spell of top order batting with NZ state side Otago this winter.

Following her elegant innings of 98 yesterday, England knew they needed to remove Mithali Raj, and with opener Paranjpe trapped lbw by Pearson in the first over, Raj and Sharma set about building a platform. Pearson was unlucky to take just one wicket in a blisteringly quick opening seven-over spell which yielded just 18 runs and saw two catches dropped.

But it was a day for the spinners, as Laura Harper and Clare Connor bowled in tandem to inflict irrevocable damage on India's batters. Connor had Sharma caught and fellow Captain, Chopra, lbw. Harper gained the prized wicket of Raj as the batsman attempted to sweep her, having found runs the same way from the previous delivery but deceived by extra flight.

At 55-4 and with Raj gone, England knew they couldn't be caught and set about achieving a comprehensive victory. With miserly bowling from Collyer in particular, India didn't ever trouble the run rate. Only the 'keeper, Naik, showed any resistance, reaching 23 before the ever reliable Taylor took a sharp catch from Harper's bowling. India were 90-9 and added just eleven more runs before Collyer bowled Goswami for the second time in two days to end India's innings and ensure England the victory.