x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Women's World Cup: England need big win for final berth

A win for England, and Australia, would see them level with the Windies on six points and result in a straight run-rate calculation.

England's Aaran Bindle looks for a run during the Super Sixes match against South Africa at the Women's World Cup in Cuttack.
England's Aaran Bindle looks for a run during the Super Sixes match against South Africa at the Women's World Cup in Cuttack.

England take on New Zealand in Mumbai today knowing that even a victory may not be enough to earn them a place in the final of the women's cricket World Cup.

The champions came to the tournament holding high hopes of an encore but things got off on the wrong foot with a surprise defeat to Sri Lanka in their opening fixture.

Victory over the West Indies followed but a second defeat, to confirmed finalists Australia, in the Super Sixes left them little margin for error.

England blew away South Africa on Sunday in comprehensive fashion to keep their hopes alive - and their net run rate (NRR) competitive - but anything less than success against the White Ferns will leave them consigned to the third-place play-off.

Even a victory would not guarantee England a place in the showpiece. That would leave England with three wins and an NRR better than their current 1.079, but they would still be casting nervous glances towards the match between Australia and the West Indies.

A win for their Ashes rivals would see England level with the Windies on six points and result in a straight run-rate calculation, meaning the margins as well as the result would be crucial in each match.

Defeat for Australia, meanwhile, would see the West Indies into the final.

The issue is a complicated one for Australia, who may prefer to face the lower-ranked West Indies, but will be mindful of giving up their 100 per cent record.

England will look to the likes of Charlotte Edwards and Arran Brindle - their top-scorers in the tournament with 132 and 111 runs respectively - to put runs on the board.

The bowling attack, meanwhile, is led by Katherine Brunt (11 wickets at 11.36) and the on-form Anya Shrubsole (13 wickets at 7.23).

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