England hold nerve to overcome NZ
England 266 for 6 (Taylor 88, Edwards 54) beat New Zealand 251 for 9 (Satterthwaite 103, Bates 79, Colvin 3-48) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In a day-night match rendered inconsequential as soon as West Indies surprised Australia in a morning start, England overcame a 134-run stand between Amy Satterthwaite and Suzie Bates to keep New Zealand comfortably short in a big chase. New Zealand needed 122 at a run a ball with eight wickets remaining when Bates fell, but England's bowlers, led byJenny Gunn, kept striking even as the asking rate kept mounting. Sarah Taylor earlier rode on some let-offs to finally make some runs in the tournament after three successive ducks, and Charlotte Edwards made a half-century at the top of the order. The match held little meaning, though, as both sides went out of contention for a place in the final against Australia following West Indies' victory.
The match followed the same pattern as that in the previous two day-night games at Brabourne Stadium - the side batting first scored big runs and won. Unlike those two matches, though, New Zealand gave England more than a scare when Bates and Satterthwaite were going after the bowling. With the game dead, the tournament's leading wicket-taker, England's Anya Shrubsole, didn't take the field during New Zealand's chase despite being in the XI.
England began with the slow-mediums of Arran Brindle from one end and despite her having Lucy Doolan stumped down the leg side, Bates and Satterthwaite were barely troubled in motoring along at above five runs an over. Both were prolific in the region of midwicket and extra cover, with Satterthwaite hitting as many as 16 fours. Gaps were picked with ease as Bates, the tournament's leading run-getter, found support from Satterthwaite.
With lead fast bowler Katherine Brunt proving expensive, it was down to Jenny Gunn to bowl a tight spell of 10-1-26-2. Gunn also broke the partnership, having Bates bowled after the batsman moved too far across in the 30th over. Satterthwaite kept New Zealand going as she put on 51 with Sophie Devine in 11 overs. The asking-rate was just over seven at this stage when Devine heaved at left-arm spinner Holly Colvin and the wicketkeeper Taylor took the top edge.
A tiring Satterthwaite struck two more boundaries to get to her century but in the 44th over, lofted the offspin of Danielle Wyatt straight to extra cover. England now closed in. Colvin, coming from over the stumps, bowled Nicola Browne round her legs on an attempted sweep. Katie Perkins heaved at Wyatt and was bowled too. The fight went out of New Zealand as they subsided to end 15 runs short.
The context had gone for the players in the middle when they learnt of Australia's defeat, which meant West Indies had entered the final. Edwards, who had added 59 upfront with Wyatt, recovered from her initial disappointment to pull authoritatively as she and Taylor added another 68.
Taylor, one of the foremost talents in the game, would have made her fourth successive duck had she been taken at deep midwicket in the 18th over off Browne. She was to be caught on 69 at midwicket off a Bates no-ball. Taylor did hit some superb strokes on way to 88 off 79, showing once again why she's highly rated. Her front-foot driving down the ground was effortless as well as commanding. Her front-foot defence was precise and assured. She stepped it up in the batting Powerplay with powerful swings over midwicket, before lofting Bates to mid-off in the 40th over.
Even as England lost a few wickets, Gunn and Heather Knight propelled them well past 250 as they took 38 off the last three overs, a charge that was to push the game out of New Zealand's reach.
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo