An England Women v New Zealand Women World Cup final is looking likely after England booked their place in the final with a win over the West Indies and New Zealand beat India in the penultimate round of Super Six matches.
New Zealand Women 210-5 (Poulton 71, Bates 47no) beat
India Women 207 (Malhotra 59no, Chopra 53) by five wickets
After India won the toss and decided to bat, two contrasting half-centuries helped the total to 207. Opener Anjum Chopra's 53 came from 106 balls but it was the more attacking and unbeaten 59 from 52 balls from Reema Malhotra that helped India to their total. However little support came from the top order as regular wickets fell but 21 wides helped the cause as all the New Zealand bowlers all struggled to control the ball. Four run outs also hampered India's charge.
New Zealand's batters then proved too strong for India, opener Kate Pulford leading the way with 71 with Suzie Bates contributing 47 in 65 balls as they powered home with five wickets and 14 balls to spare.
“I am really pleased with the way the girls lifted themselves after the defeat against England," captain Haidee Tiffin said. "I saw India’s last game against Australia and had a fair idea how to take them on.
“I suppose we took the match as a semi-final and came hard at India. I am happy to know that we achieved something which no other team has achieved in the tournament to date (successfully chase a target of 200 or more). I am also happy that we were able to avenge for previous World Cup’s defeat (when India beat New Zealand by 40 runs in the semi-final).”
Meanwhile, Indian captain Jhulan Goswami was almost in tears at her post-match press conference.
“It is a very disappointing day. We worked extremely hard for the World Cup but all has gone down the drain because of one bad performance. It is a devastating blow to all of us as the next World Cup will be after four years and who know who will be there by then.
“It is very difficult to lift your spirits after you know you have been knocked out of the title match. But yes, we have to motivate ourselves and try to win matches against the West Indies and Australia so that we could finish, at least, third in the tournament.”
|Sarah Taylor (left) hits out for England against the West Indies © ICC|
England Women 236-8 (S Taylor 78, C Taylor 65, Atkins 50) beat
West Indies Women 90 (Marsh 3-17) by 146 runs
England maintained their unbeaten run with a comfortable 146-run victory over the West Indies. Sarah Taylor (78), Claire Taylor (65), and Caroline Atkins (50) set up England's score of 236 for eight, which was always going to be beyond the West Indies side. Shanel Daley was the pick of the bowlers with three for 17 but Laura Marsh then took three for 17 herself as the West Indies were bowled out for just 90, Deandra Dottin top scoring with 23.
England reached their first final since 1993, bouncing back from a collapse from 134 without loss to 145 for four. Atkins was dropped twice before she and Sarah Taylor scored their third opening stand worth 100 or more. Taylor was run out to spark a collapse before namesake Claire revived the innings. She hit two sixes to help England pass 200.
The West Indies were in trouble early in their reply, slipping to 19 for three and England closed out the game to equal Australia's record of 17 One Day International wins in a row.
“Once I’d got past the half century mark I felt my own game improved and I was able to push on to make 78," player of the match Sarah Taylor said. "I was ably supported by Carline Atkins at the other end and we were pleased to forge another opening partnership of more than 100.
“I’m so excited about securing a place in the World Cup final but know that Thursday’s game against Australia will still be a tough contest. We’ll still be looking for a win there and continue to look to improve our game.”
Captain Charlotte Edwards added: “It has been our goal since the previous World Cup to make it to the final. I have been in semi-final before so it is great to finally make it to the final.
“But the job is only half done and I am sure we will be ready and waiting for Sunday. We’re on a successful run of form at the moment and we don’t want to slip up. We want to keep the winning run and momentum going into the final.”
The results mean Engand have reached the final, regardless of whether they win or lose their final Super Six match against Australia on Thursday (19th March). New Zealand need to avoid defeat against Pakistan to confirm their place although if they lose, wins for Australia or India could see one of those sides make the final.
© Cricket World 2009