New Zealand Women confirmed their place in the Women's World Cup final against England Women but both sides go into the match having lost one match in the tournament following the final round of Super Six games.
New Zealand racked up 373 for seven, the third highest World Cup score as they thrashed Pakistan by 223 runs, England lost to Australia by eight wickets and India beat the West Indies by eight wickets.
New Zealand's score was built around centuries for Suzie Bates (168 in 105 balls) and Haidee Tiffen (100 in 108) as the Pakistan bowlers were given no mercy although there were two wickets for Naila Nazir and Sajida Shah.
Bates' innings was the third highest at a World Cup and the highest by a New Zealander as well, Tiffen's effort was her maiden century and the pair put on a record stand of 262 for the second wicket.
“We got off to a good start and the wicket was the best we’ve played on during this tournament," Bates said afterwards. Haidee kept me ticking along and I seemed to be seeing the ball as though it was a lot bigger than it was.
“It was really enjoyable. I had been disappointed at the way I’ve gone up until today but it’s good that I’m hitting form at the right time and hopefully I can carry it on into the next game.
“It was a huge boost to finish off a game like that. We haven’t been so good at chasing runs in the past and it was a bit of a struggle out there. Today it was good to relax and let loose a little bit.
“I didn’t know about too many records. I knew my own highest score and that was about it. I was told to hit sixes and keep my head still, so that was easy to concentrate on.”
Pakistan's batters were then bowled out for 150 in 48.1 overs, Nain Abidi top scoring with 52 and Lucy Doolan picking up three for 30.
Australia ensured that England would not go on to make it 18 ODI wins in a row by taking a comprehensive victory at the North Sydney Oval.
After England were bowled out for just 161, Claire Taylor falling one short of a half-century, Karen Rolton anchored the run chase with an unbeaten 42. Only two wickets fell, one each to spinners Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh but Australia cruised home with 97 balls to spare. Full match report |
“The fact is that we knew before this game that we weren’t going to be in the final so we wanted to put in a good effort and I was really pleased with the girls. It was a fantastic team effort today,” Australia captain Karen Rolton said
“The bowling was sensational, the fielding backed it up with some great catches and the batting really topped it off.
“I’m pleased we’ve now beaten England twice in this World Cup (period). We’ve beaten them in this game and also in a practice match.
“It’s taken us six games (during the tournament) and two games in the warm-up up as well to put together a great team effort. I was really pleased with this effort so hopefully we can continue it on Saturday against India.
“We probably just haven’t clicked as early as we would have liked which is disappointing. Hopefully we can finish strongly and it will hold us in good stead for the Twenty20 world cup and when we tour England in the middle of the year.”
England captain Charlotte Edwards described the match as the worst her side had played in the last 12 months.
"This is the worst game of cricket we have played in a year," she said. "It had to come at some point and I'm glad it's not Sunday. I'm hoping this blip is just the thing we needed to give the girls a bit of a kick.
"Any England-Australia game is a big game, so no excuses from us. We were beaten by a great Australian team today who played really good cricket. We just weren't up to it.
"If you are 106 for three and then 115 for seven you are not going to win many games of cricket. It's something to work on but the positive is we are in the final and playing New Zealand.
"We have already beaten them but it is going to be the biggest game of our lives - if we can't be up for Sunday then we can't be up for any game. I'm sure we will put everything right.”
India proved far too strong for the West Indies, bowling them out for 84, Priyanka Roy taking four for 14, before reaching their victory target in the 18th over.
England take on New Zealand in the final on 22nd March (live unofficial audio coverage from Cricket World Radio from 21st March, 23:00 GMT), India meet Australia in the third/fourth place play-off on 21st March and on the same day the West Indies and Pakistan play-off for the right to claim fifth place.
© Cricket World 2009