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Australia 169 for 3 (Blackwell 54*, Nitschke 53) beat England 168 (Greenway 34, Sthalekar 3-30) by seven wickets
England's run of six successive wins came to an end as they were blown away by Australia, who coasted to victory with seven wickets and 90 balls to spare after bundling England out for 168 at Lord's. With both teams assured of places in the quadrangular final at Wormsley on Thursday the match had nothing more than bragging rights at stake but Australia will take heart from piercing England's bubble.
In a dominating performance Shelley Nitschke, Meg Lanning and Alex Blackwell led the chase but the bulk of the work was done by the bowlers, who made Charlotte Edwards' decision to bat first backfire horribly. Edwards and Danielle Wyatt were pinned back by accurate new-ball bowling and England had just 18 on the board when Edwards was dismissed for 2, from 27 balls, in the eighth over.
Laura Marsh fell one over later for 3 and Wyatt and Claire Taylor fell in the 11th and 12th overs to leave England floundering at 26 for 4. Clea Smith and Sarah Coyte shared the four wickets evenly and England were unable to rally. Lydia Greenway continued her good form, making 34 and sharing partnerships of 28 with Sarah Taylor and 42 with Arran Brindle, but wickets kept falling. When Heather Knight was out for 13 England were 127 for 8 and 150 looked a luxury but Holly Colvin (29) and Danielle Hazell (19) carried them over the mark.
A target of 168 was always going to be difficult to defend and Nitschke and Lanning did the key job of preventing the early wickets England needed to get back in the game. Instead they solidly built an opening stand of 54 that shut the home side out. Lanning was the more positive of the two, striking nine boundaries in her 40-ball 43 while Nitschke dropped anchor.
Leah Poulton fell to Wyatt for a duck but Blackwell rushed the chase to its conclusion with eight boundaries in her half-century. Nitschke was run out after reaching her fifty but by that stage Australia were as good as home. It was England's first loss of the international summer, but all will be forgotten if they win the decider.