Australia v England, Women's World Cup, Super Six, Sydney March 19, 2009

Australia upset England but miss the final

Cricinfo staff
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Australia 2 for 163 (Rolton 41*) beat England 161 (SC Taylor 49, Andrews 3-35) by 8 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Shelley Nitschke followed her 2 for 14 off 10 overs with a brisk 37 to take the match award © Getty Images
 

Australia saved their best for late in the tournament with a commanding win over the finalists England, but it was too late to save their World Cup defence. England's 17-match winning streak has ended and they will play New Zealand, who ran over Pakistan in making 373, in Sunday's decider at North Sydney Oval. The hosts head for Saturday's third-place play-off against India.

Losses against New Zealand and India were crucial to Australia's failure to make the final and it was hard to know how to gauge their outstanding performance against England. While they played superbly, the home players will be wondering what might have been if they could have produced this sort of showing throughout the event.

"The fact is that we knew before this game that we weren't going to be in the final so we wanted to put in a good effort and I was really pleased with the girls. It was a fantastic team effort today," Karen Rolton said. "The bowling was sensational, the fielding backed it up with some great catches and the batting really topped it off."

Sarah Andrews, the opening bowler, and Australia's spinners set up the victory by limiting England to 161 after they lost their last seven wickets for 55. Leah Poulton wasted no time in Australia's chase by launching the offspinner Laura Marsh for a six to long-on in the third over.

Once the Marsh experiment was ended Poulton attacked Jenny Gunn, driving and slicing her between cover and backward point in a muscular display. For the first ten overs they were scoring at almost a run a ball in a worrying sign for England ahead of their game against the in-form New Zealand.

Shelley Nitschke joined the heavy hitting by slog-sweeping a six off Holly Colvin before falling in the same over trying to repeat the clearance. She left with 37 off 43 balls, ending the 79-run stand in the 15th over, and was quickly followed by Poulton. Poulton, who struck five fours and a six, stormed down the pitch and was stumped by Sarah Taylor. Karen Rolton stepped in to make sure there were no slips and hit two sixes in her 41 not out while Alex Blackwell was unbeaten on 38.

After England won the toss, Andrews picked up both openers in her first spell and returned at the end to run out Marsh with a smart under-arm in her follow-through. The innings finished when she removed Gunn for 21 thanks to a great one-handed take from Poulton at point.

Claire Taylor's 49 seemed to put England on track for a significant total, but the spinners Nitschke, Lisa Sthalekar and Erin Osborne stopped them. Lydia Greenway (22) was stumped off Sthalekar before Taylor cut Nitschke to point, where Jess Cameron took one of her three catches. Two more breakthroughs left England flapping at 7 for 115 before Gunn's recovery.

England were unable to get Nitschke away and she returned 2 for 14 from 10 overs while Sthalekar had 2 for 31 and Osborne 1 for 41. However, Andrews was the main threat and gained a satisfying 3 for 35 off 8.3 overs.

"It's taken us six games (during the tournament) and two games in the warm-up up as well to put together a great team effort. I was really pleased with this effort so hopefully we can continue it on Saturday against India," Rolton said. "Hopefully we can finish strongly and it will hold us in good stead for the Twenty20 world cup and when we tour England in the middle of the year."