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England holds it nerve to win third World Cup title

Mon, Mar 23, 2009 10:35 AM


Fast bowler Nickyi Shaw responded magnificently to a last-minute call-up when she starred in England's thrilling four-wicket victory over a spirited New Zealand in the final of the ICC Women's World Cup 2009 in front of ESPN STAR Sports cameras at North Sydney Oval, Sydney on Sunday.

The 27-year-old from Warwickshire, who was only included in the side moments before the start of the match after Jenny Gunn was ruled out because of a calf injury, produced her career-best performance of 4-34 as New Zealand was bowled out for 166 in 47.2 overs after electing to bat first.

In response, England made hard work of the run-chase slipping from 74-0 to 149-6 but held its nerve to achieve the victory target with 23 balls and four wickets to spare. It is England's third World Cup triumph but its first outside England following its victories in 1973 and 1993.

Having already done the business with the ball Shaw's side needed her to pitch in with the bat also late in the game. With 18 runs required and four wickets standing, she took control of the situation and hit a priceless 17 not out from 23 balls with two fours to complete an outstanding day that earned her the player-of-the-final award.

Shaw's team-mate Claire Taylor, who scored 21, was declared player of the tournament for her 324 runs in the tournament by the selection panel that included former Australia captain Belinda Clark, former New Zealand fast bowler and ESPN STAR Sport commentator Danny Morrison, ICC match referee Brian Aldridge, umpire Kathy Cross and BBC journalist Alison Mitchell. The same selection panel will announce the ICC Team of the Tournament on Monday.

England, in its target chase, was provided with a solid start by openers Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins who put on 74 runs for the first wicket stand before New Zealand staged a late fight back through Lucy Doolan (3-23) and vice-captain Aimee Mason (2-28).

However, their efforts were not enough as England's lower-order, led by Shaw, showed grit and spirit to romp home in front of more than 2,300 cheering spectators.

Sarah Taylor followed up her four dismissals behind the wickets with 39 from 45 balls with six fours while Atkins departed after contributing 40 off 85 balls with two fours. Edwards scored 10, Lydia Greenway eight and Beth Morgan nine.

In a repeat of the 1993 World Cup final, New Zealand had started off slowly but confidently to reach 26-0 in eight overs before losing seven wickets for 75 runs to slip to 101-7 in 29 overs. At that stage Doolan (45 off 57 balls with eight fours) and Nicola Browne (25 off 78 balls with two fours) put on 63 runs for the eighth wicket off 99 balls to save New Zealand's blushes.

New Zealand top order decimation started when Claire Taylor caught a blinder at point off Isa Guha to dismiss Kate Pulford (eight). Shaw then made a spectacular entry to the stage by picking up the wickets of a dangerous Suzie Bates (two), who was caught at mid-on, and Amy Satterthwaite (nought), caught at the wickets, off successive balls.

Shaw then added the wicket of Tiffen (30), caught at the wicket, to finish her first spell at 4-0-16-3. She completed her match figures of 8.2-0-34-4 - the best by a bowler in a World cup final - when she added the wicket of New Zealand's last batter Nicola Browne who was trapped leg before wicket.

Shaw received excellent support from off-spinner Laura Marsh who claimed the prized scalps of Aimee Mason (13) and Doolan, while fast bowler Katherine Brunt, Isa Guha and Charlotte Edwards took wicket apiece.

A delighted Edwards, who was named Women's Player of the Year for 2008 at the LG ICC Awards late last year, said: "This is amazing. We have worked so hard to achieve what we did here today and I am so proud of all the girls.

"We needed a good performance to beat this New Zealand side and that's exactly what we produced.

"I am almost lost for words. This is what I have dreamed of since I was a little girl and for it to happen is fantastic. I've been to four World Cups, so to finally win one is just incredible.

"I'm delighted we have taken our form from last year into this competition and we'll look to continue in the same vein for the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in June and then for the Ashes and the one-day series against Australia later in the summer."

Shaw, sharing what was going through her mind when England management was discussing the final make-up of the side, said: "I didn't know if I would play or not. I thought they would pick the same team as the one that played New Zealand last time. But I knew Jen was struggling so I prepared the proper way just in case as you never know what's going to happen.

"I kept it in when they announced the team. I was fine as I sort of expected it. I got my thoughts together and carried on with the warm-up. Then I got the nod from Laney (England coach Mark Lane) and the tears rolled down my face. I was going through a mix of emotions.

"It was really big of Jen to step aside. It must have been the hardest thing she has had to do."

Shaw was also delighted with her performance. "It's probably the best I have ever bowled. I wasn't nervous at the start of my spell. Katherine (Brunt) and Isa (Guha) bowled really well and I think that settled the nerves," she said.

"Suzie Bates and Haidee Tiffin were good wickets to get. I could not ask for anything better, but everyone contributed."

A disappointed Tiffen said England was the worthy winner. "I can't take anything away from England, they played outstandingly and thoroughly deserve their number-one ranking," she said.

"I'm not going to make any excuses for anything. We had a good recipe for preparation. Maybe later on I'll reflect but the preparation was fine. I can't say we didn't prepare well.

"They put the ball in the right areas which perhaps our opening bowlers didn't. We didn't get as much assistance from the pitch but I don't regret the decision to bat. We just didn't bat very well, but on the other side England bowled really well and took great catches.

"The ball moved around a wee bit early on but she (Shaw) just bowled consistent lines and lengths, and with some silly shots added to the recipe she had a pretty good day.

"We talked about the occasion but we didn't try to hype it up. Maybe there were some nerves in amongst the camp. We didn't hype it up to be anything more than another day in the office, unfortunately it was a bad day at the office."

The New Zealand captain admitted she thought her team had a chance when England lost six wickets. "I thought we had a sniff and I let the girls know and I let England know that we had a sniff. Our girls just kept fighting and fighting and I'm very proud of them for doing that. We're a gutsy team and we work extremely hard for each other."

Scores in brief

At North Sydney Oval, Sydney New Zealand 166 all out, 47.2 overs (Lucy Doolan 48, Haidee Tiffen 30; Nicola Browne 25, Sara McGlashan 21, Nickyi Shaw 4-34, Laura Marsh 2-34)

England 167-6, 46.1 overs (Caroline Atkins 40, Sarah Taylor 39, Claire Taylor 21; Lucy Doolan 3-23, Aimee Mason 2-28)

England won by four wickets

Player of the Match: Nickyi Shaw (England)

Player of the Tournament: Claire Taylor (England)

To download free images from the final, users need to go to< a href=" http://iccfiles.sportcentric.org/" target="_blank">iccfiles.sportcentric.org/, click ICC WWC 09 folder, go to FINAL 22 Mar and click on the required image to download.

Images are for editorial use only and are copyright of the ICC.

The event logo and more details on the ICC Women's World Cup 2009 can be found at: iccevents.yahoo.com



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