The decision to run the women's tournament alongside the men's competition from 2009 proved to be a masterstroke, doing wonders for the promotion of the game and allowing the players a chance to play in front of the sort of crowds they deserve.
Who can forget the images of Charlotte Edwards' England team celebrating with their Pakistani male counterparts in 2009 or Australia's beaten finalists watching on in the stands as their women's team ensured that they would be returning home from the West Indies with some silverware one year later?
Having held the first 50-over World Cup in 1973, it was perhaps fitting that England hosted the first event and the group stages were played out at Taunton - England's 'home' of women's cricket. The first game saw a thriller as the West Indies beat South Africa by four runs but the group stages served to confirm that the top four sides in 50-over cricket would also be contesting the knockout stages.
England and New Zealand qualified with perfect records while India and Australia made it through as group runners-up to compete in the semi-finals.
New Zealand brushed aside India, scoring 145 for five thanks to a brilliant 89 not out in 58 balls from Aimee Watkins, and then limited India to just 93 for nine in reply.
The other semi-final saw England produce one of the best run chases the world of Twenty20 cricket has ever seen. After Karen Rolton's 38 and Leah Poulton's 39 had inspired Australia to a score of 163 for five, England had plenty of work to do when they were reduced to 43 for four in the seventh over.
Step forward Claire Taylor and Beth Morgan, who put together a partnership worth 122 to bring the game home, Taylor marshalling the innings with nerveless skill and Morgan surviving an attempted sweep that sent the ball crashing into her chin to finish the game off with three balls to spare.
The two unbeaten sides in the competition then met in the final at Lord's and although England weren't complaining, the game proved to be a one-sided affair. Once New Zealand's star batters Watkins and Suzie Bates were dismissed for single-figure scores, there was no way back and the White Ferns limped to just 85 all out, Katherine Brunt recording figures of three for six.
Despite the low target - and mirroriing their landmark win in the 50-over World Cup earlier in the year - England wobbled as Charlotte Edwards and Morgan fell cheaply but when it mattered most, the ever-reliable Taylor was on hand to take England to the top of the world once again courtesy of a six-wicket victory, drilling the ball down the ground with the winning runs coming with three overs to spare.
It meant England held both global trophies - as well as the Ashes - available to them and they had done so in style - dominating their group, beating arch-rivals Australia in the semi-finals and then delivering on their big day at Lord's.
It was fitting that Jenny Gunn, who had been a late withdrawal from the side that won the 50-over competition, took two wickets in the final and was there at the crease when the tournament was won.
© Cricket World 2012
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