After the shake-up to the order that had seen New Zealand beat Australia in 2000, there were more surprises in 2005.
For the first time, a team outside of the top four (Australia, England, India, New Zealand) hosted with South Africa holding the tournament and then India reached their first final, becoming only the fourth team to make it into a Women’s World Cup final.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t emulate their male counterparts efforts of 1983 as Australia clinched their fifth title with a 98-run win – the first time they had won the final batting first.
There were no new teams involved although the West Indies replaced the Netherlands from the previous event and enjoyed their best performance, finishing in fifth.
The round robin format ended with Australia unbeaten at the top and Ireland failing to win a game at the bottom. India, New Zealand and England ended in second, third and fourth to qualify for the semi-finals.
Australia met England in the first semi-final in Potchefstroom and won by five wickets. England were bowled out for just 158 and thanks to 62 from Belinda Clark, Australia reached their target with three overs to spare.
India’s breakthrough came against New Zealand with a 40-run success at the same venue. Captain Mithali Raj led the way with an unbeaten 91 in 104 balls as 204 for six proved to be enough.
Despite Maria Fahey’s 73 not out, New Zealand were bowled out for 164 as Amita Sharma and Nooshin Al Kader grabbed three wickets.
The final followed a similar pattern to the Australia-India final in the men’s 2003 World Cup. Australia batted first and Karen Rolton’s 107 not out, allied with Lisa Sthalekar’s 55, helped the favourites reach 215 for four.
India made a steady start before losing their way and with Raj out cheaply, for six, Australia made light work of the rest of the line-up, bowling them out for 117 to seal an emphatic win.
© Cricket World 2013
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.