England beat NZ, win ICC Women's World Cup for third time

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icc-wom-wc.jpg' class='caption'> England clinched their third World Cup title after beating New Zealand by four wickets in a low scoring final at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

Updated: March 22, 2009 10:43 IST
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England clinched their third World Cup title after beating New Zealand by four wickets in a low scoring final at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

Riding on the four-wicket haul of all-rounder Nicky Shaw, England bundled out New Zealand for 166 in 47.2 overs, before achieving the target with 23 balls to spare.

Shaw, who became the first bowler to scalp four wickets in the final of an Women's World Cup, creditably capitalised on morning weather condition to stiffle the opponent batting line-up and reached her best ODI figure of 4-34.

Earlier, New Zealand skipper Haidee Tiffen won the toss and elected to bat first.

The black caps suffered an early jolt when opener Kate Pulford (8) was dismissed cheaply by England pacer Isa Guha on the eighth over.

Both the England opening bowlers, Katherine Brunt and Isa Guha extracted early morning movement to baffle the batters who were failing to middle the ball with alarming regularity.

Nicky came in action as the first-change bowler for England and soon struck by sending back Suzie Bates (2) and Amy Satterthwaite (0) in the twelfth over, leaving New Zealand struggling at 49 for three.

Nicky's immaculate line and length continued to trouble the New Zealand bowlers as she bagged her third wicket by dismissing second opener, skipper Haidee, who was in defiant mood while playing a smart 30 run-innings off 56 balls, before wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor pouched her well.

New Zealand's run-rate failed to soar high as they kept losing wickets in regular intervals.

When the Kiwis were languishing at 101 for seven, Lucy Doolan (48) joined hands with Nicola Browne and stitched together a 63-run partnership to set a timely recovery.

As the Kiwis were moving towards posting a good total with the eighth wicket partnership, Nicky again hampered the rhythm of the Kiwis on 46th over, when her delivery found Nicola's (25) leg in front of the sticks.

Nicky was later adjudged Man-of-the-Match, while her teammate Claire Taylor was named Player-of-the-Tournament. For England, Laura Marsh bagged two wickets, while Brunt, Guha, Holly Colvin and skipper Charlotte Edwards managed one each.

The Britons, after a solid opening partnership of 74 runs between Caroline Atkins (40) and Sarah Taylor (39), survived a mini-collapse, to secure their first title in 16 years.

Among New Zealand bowlers, Doolan bagged three wickets for 23 runs, while Aimee Mason managed two for 28 but could not stop England as they achieved the target of 167 with Nicky (17) and Colvin (5) in the middle in 46.1 overs.

"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," an ecstatic England skipper Edwards said after the match.

"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," said Nicky.

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

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