England v Pakistan, Women's World Cup, Group B, Sydney March 12, 2009

Marsh takes five as England surge into Super Sixes

Cricinfo staff

England 2 for 82 (Edwards 32*) beat Pakistan 78 (Abidi 27, Marsh 5-15) by 8 wickets

Laura Marsh was the star for England with 5 for 15 © Getty Images

The unbeaten England sealed their place on top of Group B after Laura Marsh's heroics with the ball led them to an eight-wicket thrashing of Pakistan at North Sydney Oval. It was another strong performance from one of the tournament favourites, whose next engagement is in the Super Sixes, and they overcame a slow start with the help of Marsh's offspin.

Pakistan had moved to 1 for 51 when Marsh intervened and they managed only 27 more as they were dismissed for 78 in 39.5 overs. England almost got the runs before the lunch break, but returned briefly to reach 2 for 82, with Charlotte Edwards unbeaten on 32. Their only casualties were Ebony Rainford-Brent on 18 and Sarah Taylor for 11 as the chase lasted 23.1 overs.

Marsh collected 5 for 15 from her 10 overs, starting with the wicket of Sukhan Faiz when she was caught sharply at first slip by Claire Taylor. Nain Abidi, the top scorer with 27, drove to cover and Marsh was on a hat-trick after bowling Sajjida Shah (5) and having Sana Mir taken one-handed by Lydia Greenway at short leg. Marsh's haul was completed with the lbw of the captain Urooj Mumtaz, who missed trying a legside slog with her side at 6 for 64.

"I am pleased with my performance as it's always nice for the spinners to take wickets in ODIs," Marsh said. "The ball wasn't turning much so I concentrated to bowl as straight as possible and tried to bring the slip fielder into play. I wasn't aware that it was the fifth best bowling performance in a World Cup until someone told me after the presentation. I am definitely pleased with this, also because it came in a match that we won."

Holly Colvin was responsible for building a lot of pressure during an extremely tight spell of 1 for 8 off ten overs, which included seven maidens. Katherine Brunt, the opening bowler, picked up 2 for 25 while Edwards chipped in at the end with 2 for 2.