Faced with playing vital pool matches against South Africa and India in its next two games, England made the most of its time in the middle when beating the Netherlands by 140 runs at BIL Oval at Lincoln University today.
It was a compelling it not quite comprehensive win by England and was based around the batting of Charlotte Edwards, who was at the crease for all of England's 50 overs to finish on 139 scored off 152 balls, and Sarah Collyer's bowling effort which produced 5-32 from her 10 overs.
England was always going to win the game. It had far greater batting resource than a limited Netherlands team while its bowling only brought out the best of the defensive tendencies of the Dutch side.
In fact, the only bright spot of the Netherlands run chase was when lower order batsman Teuntje de Boer took the long handle to Collyer to hit 17 runs from 12 balls. Her innings was like a beacon burning on the defensive ramparts of some impregnable castle, it stood out that match.
Edwards' effort was far more like what was needed.
"I was pleased to get some runs," she said after her lean time in the pre-tournament New Zealand series.
"It takes a lot more concentration against lesser-ranked bowlers, especially with the number of wider balls bowled. But they bowled quite well in fact, better than I thought they would," she said.
Coach Paul Farbrace has set a tournament target of 400 runs for Edwards and the effort put her well on the way.
"We probably could have got a lot more runs but the coach said to treat it like a net and stay in as long as possible. Those of us who did bat did spend time at the crease," she said.
England finished its innings on 256/3. Barbara Daniels showed her form as well in scoring an aggressive 79. She shared a 184-run stand with Edwards and her effort ended when she called for a second run only to fall short when running to the danger end.
Their effort was a clear show of what could be achieved by England should it have the chance to similarly show its wares against higher-ranked teams.
The Netherlands made a grim start, scoring a barely two an over during the first 20 overs. Opener Maartje Koster was a bulwark in her defiance but after 27 overs she was finally bowled by Collyer for 27.
That set in train a fine spell by Collyer which saw her produce the second-best performance by an England bowler in World Cup cricket. It was also the ninth-best by all countries at the Cup.
"My bowling requirement coming into the tournament was to be as economical as possible," she said.
"It's my first five wickets bag. I can't stop smiling. I didn't realise it was such a good effort until Paul [Farbrace] told me when I came off the ground. I can't really take it all in at the moment."
She said she hadn't bowled into a wind of the intensity she faced today. It was very tiresome. But it helped me as I was swinging the ball quite a lot.
"But when you are taking wickets you're just running on adrenalin so I wasn't tired," she said.