England Crowned World Champions For Third Time

England 167-6 (Atkins 40, S Taylor 39, Doolan 3-23) beat
New Zealand 166 (Doolan 48, Shaw 4-34, Marsh 2-34) by four wickets
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Women's World Cup Final, North Sydney Oval
By John Pennington

England Women won their third World Cup as they beat New Zealand by four wickets in a gripping finale to a brilliant tournament at the North Sydney Oval.

England wobbled after a good start in pursuit of 167 to win before Holly Colvin hit the winning runs to spark scenes of jubilation among the England players, as they completed World Cup victory for the third time, following the success of 1973 and 1993, but for the first time, they did it away from home.

Nicky Shaw, who wasn't set to play but for a late calf injury to Jenny Gunn, played the starring role, taking four for 34 as New Zealand were bowled out for 166 and she was at the crease when the match was won having contributed a crucial unbeaten 17 as New Zealand almost bowled their way back into the game.

Lucy Doolan, who had earlier rescued New Zealand from the depths of 101 for seven to 166 all out, put the brakes on England with three wickets for 23 including snaffling openers Sarah Taylor (39) and Caroline Atkins (40) who added 76 for the first wicket in quick time.

When Claire Taylor (21) was bowled by off-spinner Aimee Mason and Charlotte Edwards was given out caught behind off of Doolan for ten, New Zealand were right back in the game with England's in form batters all gone.

There was more stuttering when Lydia Greenway (8) skied a catch to Amy Satterthwaite and Beth Morgan was needlessly run out for nine before Shaw caressed three boundaries through the off side to settle the nerves and it was left to Colvin to hit the winning run through midwicket with three overs and a ball to spare.

166 never looked like enough for New Zealand, but few would have predicted it getting as tense as it did.

Shaw's haul included two wickets in two balls when she had the dangerous Suzie Bates caught by Atkins at midwicket for two and Amy Satterthwaite caught behind one ball later.

Haidee Tiffen, the only other batter to get going aside from Doolan, also fell to Shaw when she edged behind and Nicola Browne's patient innings of 25 was ended when Shaw grabbed her fourth wicket by having her trapped in front.

After a superb opening spell from Katherine Brunt, player of the tournament Claire Taylor pulled off a superb catch at backward point to dismiss opener Kate Pulford for eight but it wasn't until Brunt's second spell later on that she got the wicket that her consistent swing deserved when Sarah Tsukigawa nicked to Sarah Taylor.

Aimee Mason threatened briefly before Laura Marsh bowled her round her legs and but for Doolan, who eight fours in a pugnacious knock, the game would have been over hours before it was.

© Cricket World 2009