Cricket: Clark steers Australia to World Cup
Tuesday 30 December 1997
Australia win by 5 wickets
Eden Gardens did the women's World Cup proud yesterday, with a largely female crowd of some 50,000 bringing a cheerful atmosphere to Australia's contest with New Zealand in the final.
They were rewarded with a typically alert and combative performance by the side that has always looked the most complete outfit here; Australia won by five wickets with two overs and two balls to spare, and the outcome was rarely in doubt.
After New Zealand chose to bat, the opener Debbie Hockley scored a brave and responsible 79 off 121 balls, which, against an attack of Australia's quality, was certainly the best innings we have seen in this tournament. Unfortunately, apart from their captain, Maia Lewis, who contributed 10 runs to a fourth-wicket partnership of 38, no one stayed with Hockley for long.
The Australian strike bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick was quick, recording figures of 10-2-22-1. Her partner in pace Bronwyn Calver is not as rapid, but she moved the ball about, removing Hockley's opening partner, Emily Drumm, lbw for six with a beautiful delivery. Australia's fielding was similarly relentless, typified by the sizzling 30-yard throw from point to the bowlers' end by Michelle Goszko that ran out Kathryn Ramel with a direct hit.
New Zealand were all out for 164 in their penultimate over, not much of a total, but there was a doubt over whether Australia could bat down the order as they have not needed to here. They proved they could, although their opener and captain, Belinda Clark, shouldered much of the load with a steady 52 off 81 balls, her 11th fifty in 40 international one-day innings. It took a sharp return catch by the off-spinner Catherine Campbell to remove her.
Too much of New Zealand's work in the field was otherwise sloppy. Clark's departure left Australia on 117 for 3 in the 34th over. Karen Rolton and Melanie Jones stayed calm and put the bad balls away to bring the target inexorably closer.
New Zealand's shortage of quality bowling was exposed when, with Australia needing only nine runs off the last six overs, Ramel came on, and promptly bowled two wides in her first three balls.
Bronwyn Calver took Australia home with a four and a single off Ramel, as they became world champions for the fourth time in six competitions, and deservedly so.
It was unfortunate that eight of England's beaten semi-finalists did not stay to watch them do it. It is understandable that they wanted to go; that they were allowed to do so, however, did not go down well here.
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid winger
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...