A relieved England suffered a fright during the chase but held on to see off New Zealand and win the ICC Women's World Cup for the third time in their history here yesterday.
Some fine bowling and a player-of-the-match performance from Nicki Shaw put England in a commanding position as she took four wickets to dispatch New Zealand for 166. And although Lucy Doolan responded with three wickets of her own, England held on for a four-wicket win to take the world title for the first time since 1993.
Shaw again came to the rescue, hitting three boundaries late in the order to put England one run from victory before Holly Colvin hit a four to launch wild celebrations from her team-mates.
"This won't sink in for a while, but this is an amazing team and it's well deserved," said England captain Charlotte Edwards. "We made it hard work for ourselves but it's a special day and I'll treasure this for the rest of my life."
England started the chase well, with openers Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins taking their side almost halfway to their target by putting on 74 for the opening wicket.
Even after Sarah Taylor scooped a Doolan delivery to Haidee Tiffen at middle wicket, England still looked comfortable with Atkins continuing to bat well and player-of-the-tournament Claire Taylor proving more than capable of adding to the score. But when Claire Taylor was bowled by Aimee Mason with England at 109 for 2, the chase became in danger of derailing. Atkins fell shortly after when she was caught by a diving Sophie Devine off Doolan, before Edwards was caught behind by Rachel Priest – also off Doolan – for 10 to leave England on 121 for 4.
Lydia Greenway was caught off Mason seven overs later to leave England 28 shy of their target. Beth Morgan fell soon after with England faltering on 149 for 6. Then Shaw steadied the ship before Colvin hit the winning runs.Reuse content