Have Australia fallen to most shameful collapse?


In the history of Australian batting collapses Wednesday's will go down as one of their worst – but they may not be shedding too many tears.

For a nation known as one of cricket's most competitive, failing to knock off the final 35 runs with six wickets in hand against the West Indies in the last round of the World Cup Super Six stage can only bring shame... except in doing so they eliminated the pre-tournament favourites and their arch-rivals, England, and will now face the West Indies again in Sunday's final. Australia will fancy their chances of claiming the trophy.

Jodie Fields' side were cruising at 130 for 4 in pursuit of 165 but a collapse of four wickets for 10 runs – three of them for just a single – would eventually leave Australia eight short, handing West Indies their first win over the Southern Stars and a place in their maiden World Cup final.

The three quick wickets of Alex Blackwell, Fields and Julie Hunter, in the space of 14 balls turned the match on its head and had a far-reaching effect on the competition.

Defending champions England, who had expected to face Australia in the final, were knocked out as a result despite a 15-run win over New Zealand in Mumbai. England will now meet the Kiwis again in tomorrow's play-off for third place.

England needed Australia – who were already through to the final before the game – to beat the West Indies after slipping up earlier in the tournament but found out during their game against New Zealand that their final chance had gone.

They won nonethless, with Sarah Taylor making 88 and captain Charlotte Edwards 54 in a total of 266 for 6. New Zealand captain Suzie Bates replied with 79 and Amy Satterthwaite 103 but they lost late wickets to fall short on 251 for 9.

Edwards said: "Halfway through the game we got the Windies result but it was about putting in a professional performance. I am proud of the way the girls ended the match but disappointed about the bigger picture.

"I found out by looking up at the big screen while I was batting, which is not ideal. It's our own fault though. Our own inconsistency up front in the tournament has cost us. But there is still a lot to be proud of, a lot of these players have got great futures in the game."

England paid the price for two narrow defeats, the one-wicket last-ball opening loss to Sri Lanka in the group stages, and a two-run reverse against Australia in the Super Sixes. Dropped catches and poor batting cost them in both those games.

Taylor replaced Danielle Wyatt, who had shared an opening stand of 59 with her captain. With Edwards herself caught with the score on 127, Taylor, linked with a move to men's cricket before the World Cup, survived a further 10 overs to top score for her side. She had come close to a fourth successive duck but was dropped at square leg and made the most of her good fortune hitting 16 fours and one six in her 79-ball stay.

England ready to 'bully' Ashes rivals, warns Prior

England, chasing four consecutive Ashes urns for the first time in 123 years, are ready to "bully" Australia in this year's back-to-back series, Matt Prior has warned.

"I remember watching Warne, Hayden and McGrath and the way they walked around and bullied England," he said. "Maybe it's our time to do a bit of bullying. If we prepare and perform as we want to, there's no reason why we shouldn't dominate Australia. You look at the skills we have in our team – batters, bowlers, the spin department, it's all there."

Past Australia teams revelled in grinding down England with bat, ball and the odd choice word. But, said Prior: "There's more to it than the odd sledge. There are ways of creating an intensity on the pitch, like the way we hustle around, the way our bowlers put the ball in the right area all day long."

But although Australia's current 17-man Test squad contains only eight players with Ashes experience, England's wicketkeeper remains wary of a team which recently held their own against top-ranked South Africa. "Ashes series are strange – there is no such thing as a weak Australian Test side and we will have to be on our game."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London