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|Women’s World Cup final, Lord’s|
|England 228-7 (50 overs): Sciver 51, Taylor 45, Goswami 3-23|
|India 219 (48.4 overs): Raut 86, Kaur 51, Shrubsole 6-46|
|England won by nine runs|
England completed a stunning fightback to beat India by nine runs and win the Women’s World Cup at an ecstatic Lord’s.
Chasing 229, India looked set for victory when Punam Raut’s 86 took them to 191-3.
But Anya Shrubsole pinned Raut lbw to spark a collapse of seven wickets for 28 runs.
The seamer finished with 6-46 – the best figures in a World Cup final – as India were bowled out for 219 with eight balls unused.
Natalie Sciver made 51 and Sarah Taylor 45 in England’s 228-7, enough for a fourth World Cup crown.
It ends a wait for a global trophy that goes back to 2009 and vindicates the approach of coach Mark Robinson, who dispensed with former captain Charlotte Edwards after defeat in the final of the 2016 World Twenty20.
India, unfancied at the start of the tournament, seemed to be in control for much of a match that was played on a slow, low surface.
But the brilliant Shrubsole and the tenacity of the hosts denied them a first major trophy.
New England climb to the top of the world
After defeat T20 final in India last year, Robinson criticised his team’s fitness and set about making changes.
Edwards was replaced as captain and retired, with new skipper Heather Knight leading a team of players that established themselves in the international arena.
Batters Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfeld and Fran Wilson have all been integrated into the top order, Alex Hartley’s left-arm spin has become integral to the attack and Sarah Taylor has returned from an anxiety-related issue.
Knight’s side were beaten by India in the first game of the tournament, but steadily improved to top the eight-team group, including beating defending champions Australia.
Their thrilling semi-final victory over South Africa was front-page news, but it was nothing compared to the drama of the final in the rain at a packed, partisan and raucous Lord’s.
Shrubsole’s dream becomes reality
In the run-up to the final, Shrubsole’s father shared a picture on Twitter of his daughter as an 11-year-old, who at the time said she wanted to play in a World Cup final at Lord’s.
The vice-captain had already hit the winning runs in the semi-final, and, in the final, lifted England when the World Cup looked to be slipping away.
Raut, who could have been stumped on 64, was trapped leg before before Sushma Verma was bowled by Hartley without scoring.
India needed only 33 from 39 balls with five wickets in hand, but Shrubsole, steaming in from the Pavilion End, was irresistible.
The dangerous Veda Krishnamurthy miscued to Sciver, Jhulan Goswami was bowled and Shikha Pandey was run out by Shrubsole’s throw from point.
Deepti Sharma holed out for Shrubsole to complete the first five-wicket haul in a World Cup final and, although Jenny Gunn dropped a simple catch at mid-off that would have sealed victory, victory was completed when Shrubsole bowled Rajeshwari Gayakwad with the next delivery.
England inch to winning score
England opted to make first use of a used wicket, with openers Winfield and Beaumont sharing nine fours in the first 15 overs. However, England managed only the same number in the next 35.
India took pace off the ball – leg-spinner Poonam Yadav managed to bowl as slowly as 33mph – but Sciver and Taylor manouvered the ball well in a fourth-wicket partnership of 83.
When the time came to accelerate, seamer Goswami returned to have Taylor caught down the leg side and both Wilson and Sciver lbw.
England were squeezed, but the late impetus of Katherine Brunt, Gunn and Laura Marsh ensured they just about had enough.
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