Australia Win World Cup Thriller Against England
Australia Women 147 (Coyte 44) beat
England Women 145 (Ferling 3-35) by 2 runs
Women's World Cup Super Six, Mumbai
Report by John Pennington
England Women haven't beaten their Australian counterparts in a 50-over World Cup since 1993 but they couldn't have come much closer before going down by just two runs in a dramatic low-scoring Super Six match in Mumbai.
Australia were bowled out for 147 and after England recovered from 39 for six, Australia had to dig deep and thanks to Holly Ferling and finally Erin Osborne, the five-time champions dismissed their rivals for 145.
Australia had been indebted to a sixth-wicket partnership worth 82 between Lisa Sthalekar (41) and Sarah Coyte (44) as they recovered from 32 for five.
England then had Lydia Greenway's 49 and Laura Marsh's 22 to thank for their fightback and then a 31-run 10th-wicket partnership between Holly Colvin and Anya Shrubsole so nearly got them over the line before the latest chapter in their World Cup tale of heartbreak against Australia was written when Colvin edged Osborne to wicket-keeper Jodie Fields.
The result leaves Australia sitting pretty at the top of the Super Six stage with six points and England now relying on other results to go their way if they are to retain a chance of making the final.
Ferling was called into the side as a late replacement for Ellyse Perry and with the wickets of Danielle Wyatt, caught behind chasing a wide ball for 16, Jenny Gunn, bowled by a hooping yorker without scoring and then the huge wicket of Greenway, caught by Megan Schutt at mid off.
Schutt had Charlotte Edwards (8) trapped in front and Sarah Taylor caught by Meg Lanning and Julie Hunter's quick snares of both Arran Brindle (1) and Heather Knight (0), following by Gunn's dismisal, left England in complete disarray.
Greenway and Marsh then had to fight hard for each and every run, but once their partnership began to grow and put Australia under a touch of pressure, England were back in the game, Greenway very strong off her legs and scoring seven fours before she didn't quite get hold enough of an off side drive.
By then, Marsh had gone, trapped in front by Coyte - although like Edwards earlier in the innings, replays showed the ball was not going on to hit the stumps.
Katherine Brunt fell two balls after Greenway for two but with Colvin helping herself to three fours off one Coyte over and Shrubsole (13 not out) also finding the boundary on two occasions, it looked as if England's luck was turning.
With the target down to single figures, the pair looked to get them in singles until Colvin (16) tried to force a wider ball through the off side, getting an edge which was well held by Fields standing up to the stumps.
Shrubsole had earlier played the lead role with the ball, getting impressive swing which was too much for Meg Lanning (17), Rachael Haynes (2) and Jess Cameron (0). Lanning was caught behind by one that held its line, Haynes caught and bowled and Cameron saw her middle stump disappear as she was completely beaten.
Brunt played her part, having Alex Blackwell caught behind for four and later Ferling caught by Shrubsole for four while Gunn removed Fields for three to leave Australia reeling.
Much like Greenway and Marsh would later, Sthalekar (41 in 59 balls) and Coyte (44 in 81) grafted to get their side back into the contest in a game-changing partnership.
Brindle bowled Sthalekar and Colvin had Coyte caught by Shrubsole and although Hunter was able to add an unbeaten 16 to boost Australia's score, at the halfway stage, 147 didn't quite look like enough. In the end, it was - but only just.
© Cricket World 2013
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WWC 2013 Groups
Group B: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Super Six: West Indies, Australia 8 points, England 6 points, New Zealand 4 points, South Africa, Sri Lanka 2 points
Full Fixtures, Stats & Tables