Two of the tournament’s favourites, Australia and England, clashed in the nineteenth match of the Women’s World Cup on July 9 at Bristol. England has been the only team to come close to matching Australia’s dominance over world cups (Australia are defending champions and have won a whopping six times). With all this history, the match promised to be a thrilling contest, and these two teams did not disappoint with a nail-biting run-chase in which England came out on top, winning by 3 runs.
England won the toss and elected to bat. While there was enough in there to settle in and score for the batters, the bowlers were also rewarded with consistent wickets. England lost their opener Lauren Winfield quite early, however it was the wickets taken by Kristen Beams that put the English side in real danger. England fought back with a steady 54-run fourth wicket partnership between Tammy Beaumont (49 from 88 balls) and Danielle Wyatt (27 runs from 32 balls). The total got a boost in the last few overs with some powerful hitting by Katherine Brunt (45 from 43) and Jenny Gunn (39 from 42). Despite shaky bits in the middle, England put up a competitive total of 259.
The Australian openers started with a great stand with 56 runs, laying the foundations for what looked like an easy run-chase. England struck in quick succession taking out both openers within three overs and a mini recovery was needed. No one was better suited for that job than Australian captain Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, both of whom had just entered the crease. A crucial blow came when left-arm spinner Alex Hartley dismissed Lanning for 40 just when she was looking to settle in for a big score. Perry put up a great fight but the real challenge was the ever-climbing run-rate requirement.
If Australia had won today they would have been the first team to reach the semi-finals. For a neutral, however, this was the best positive result as it makes the rest of the matches much more thrilling. There are two matches a-piece left for both teams before the semis, England are set to play New Zealand and West Indies, while Australia are up against India and South Africa. This world cup is wide open!
Australia vs England ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
Katherine Brunt, also the player of the match, batted extremely well to help England reach their final total through an excellent late order innings, making 45 runs off 43 balls. In a match where the margin of defeat was just 3 runs, this batting stint in the end was the difference between winning and losing.
Brunt and Gunn shared a 7th wicket stand of 85 runs
Alex Hartley, set up the victory for England by stemming the flow of runs. She also took some key wickets at crucial junctures of the match, that of opener Mooney and the most coveted wicket in ODI cricket—Australian ace Lanning.
Beth Mooney falls to Alex Hartley for 31
Meg Lanning falls to Alex Hartley for 40