Before today only Marizanne Kapp could really claim a rightful place as a pace bowler in any team of the tournament: it’s been not just a batsman’s tournament, but one dominated by spin as well. What a time for that all to change.
Two of the greats of the game today showed exactly why they are considered such: firstly Jhulan Goswami, whose spell of 3 wickets for 2 runs in 10 balls changed the course of England’s innings. Then Anya Shrubsole wreaked utter havoc, finishing with the best ever figures in a World Cup final and proving precisely why the inswinging yorker is her trademark delivery. It wasn’t even a particularly seam friendly pitch. It just proves that when you need them to, your best bowlers will come good, every time.
As the first women’s tournament where DRS has been in use, today was again a mixed bag for both sides – for England, Lauren Winfield overturned an incorrect LBW decision, but Nat Sciver later proved that it isn’t only male cricketers who will use DRS out of hope rather than good judgement. India, too, struggled: Punam Raut asking for a review but being turned down because the umpire said she had taken too long to reach her decision.
It’s been a big ask for female players to become accustomed to DRS in such a short space of time, especially when it’s only available at certain matches – it’s not like you can have a “DRS net session” – but that didn’t stop Heather Knight being pretty unequivocal about her views on its use post-match: “I think it’s a brilliant addition to the game… it’s important that it continues [being used].” I agree. Let’s hope the ICC do as well.
Bottom order contributions
“Batting is something everybody needs to do”, Mithali Raj said in the post-match press conference. She couldn’t have hit the nail on the head more if she tried. The key difference between the sides today was the fact that India’s last 7 wickets fell for 28 runs – whereas Jenny Gunn and Laura Marsh were able to put on 32 runs between Katherine Brunt being run out in the 46th over and the end of England’s innings. “The last 4 or 5 [Indian] batters couldn’t handle the pressure,” admitted Mithali.
In fact, since their loss to India in game one, England haven’t been bowled out in this tournament, and that’s been crucial to their success. In the Australia match it was Gunn and Katherine Brunt putting on 85 for the 7th wicket which dragged them up to a competitive total – in the semi-final against South Africa Gunn and Fran Wilson put on 40 for the same. Most teams say they bat deep. England actually do.
New England still get things wrong: Sarah Taylor does, occasionally, miss stumpings; Heather Knight does drop catches (and so does Jenny Gunn). But they also never give up. They looked absolutely dead in the water today, and then the miracle happened. One minute I’m eating scones at the back of the press box, the next Anya Shrubsole is on fire and the game is turning on its head. Amazing to watch. Frankly, all the tributes in the world aren’t enough for Mark Robinson, who has somehow transformed this side into world-beaters.
What a day! What a match! The atmosphere. The roar from the crowd that went up as Goswami bowled her first ball. The ticket touts lining the streets from the tube station to the ground. The queues at the gate to get in. The flags, the drummers, the kids wrapped in Indian and English flags. Whether you’re an England fan or not – what a magical, magical day for women’s cricket.
Good assessment all round and have enjoyed your analysis and those of your colleagues.
India lost rather than England winning but you never say die in these finals as anything can happen. At one stage before Shrubsole bowled Ghoswami first ball I looked at Heather Knight on the field and thought she is hoping for something to happen to turn the tide and it did!
I was at the WC final in 1993 as Manager of the Australian team who did not make it and again were favourites. Before I left home I said to friends I did not expect Aust to make it to the final but I hoped as we were severely lacking in the bowling department. This assessment did not include an injured Meg Lanning and the almost ‘Group Think’ mentality of how the team was selected.
When the ICC first funded the World Cup in 2005 where the women formally amalgamated with the ICC they provided $600K US for delivering the event. Wonder what the budget would be today. I can only compare the 2009 WC to the 2017 as did not go to India.
I was doing my PhD on the amalgamation but did not finish for some personal reasons but I have ( in my more mature years) interested in resurrecting parts of the research and working further on it in some other capacity.
The ICC and ECB did a brilliant job in the marketing and all its derivations to key target audiences. The number of volunteers in delivering the event is also to be commended. However technology at the grounds needs updating particularly at a ground like Lords. No comparison to the sophistication of replays and having material readily on your phone compared to SCG and MCG.
But from where the women’s game has come in such a short time that can be easily be improved. The ICC said in documents in 2003 that the women’s game would be never be a commercial entity on its own. Well we know that had now changed.
All the best Chris
Sent from my iPhone Christine P Brierley OAM
Sent from my iPhone Christine P Brierley O
The England and Indian spectators were never able to relax during this final. Both teams started their innings well and established platforms before losing wickets to quality bowling and the mandatory pressure related run-outs. England again relied on their depth of batting, while India tried to protect their tail, until the last frenetic 35mins.
Anya Shrubsole wreaked havoc on the Indian batting thanks to the pressure applied by Alex Hartley / Laura Marsh. Wrestling the player of the match award away from Goswami (who bowled brilliantly) in the process.
DRS did its job to a fault and England were nearly let down by the human element. ST did everything right in waiting for the batsman to lose her balance and lift her back foot. But the keepers’ union were more confident than the official, who err’d on the side of caution.
Any England cricket team will always have my wholehearted support, my doubts in this ‘new’ team were in their ability to beat dispel the demons that seemed to haunt them in qualifying for the world cup.
But this team grew in stature and self-belief throughout this competition and handled adversity well. I thought HK had a great day rotating her bowlers well with good field placement to slow the Indian run rate and build pressure.
The perfect day for women’s cricket played to a big crowd at Lord’s. The crowd a good mix of India and England supporters respectful and when need be, doing their best to boost the morale of their respective team.
Will we see many better days? Like 2005 for the men I think not. But this feels like the baton being passed and new young fans seeing this as their team. WWC2017 Mission Accomplished!
New Zealand have a heck of a challenge in 2021 to match this event but I’d argue that that is the easy challenge. The hard challenge is
(a) capitalising on the success of the event rather than wasting it (even England have challenges in this aspect), and that means many things, not least of which is taking the next step in raising the standards
(b) ensuring that South Africa’s semi-final place and India’s achievement in reaching the final are not one-offs; that they don’t drop off the radar through lack of resource and opportunity
(c) ensuring that players other than from Eng / Aus / NZ and WI start appearing regularly in KSL and WBBL; not out of some sense of equality but because they warrant a place based on their ability
(d) ensuring that the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and even India are able to turn up in NZ with true depth in their squads rather than rely on 2 or 3 stars
(e) ensuring that by 2021 every team is capable of scoring 300 in 50 overs
(f) ensuring that by 2021 all players can throw in on the full from the boundary (Danni Wyatt dispels any theory that height limits ability in this regard)
(g) ensuring that by 2021 the number of run-outs is approximately the same as in a men’s equivalent event
(h) ensuring that by 2021 we don’t marvel at Wilson’s and Knight’s ground fielding capability because it’s become the norm, not the exception
(i) ensuring that by 2021 extras won’t decide matches (excluding leg byes which should be banned – why the heck a batting team should benefit from a batsman’s abject failure to hit the ball is a mystery)
(j) ensuring every player is able to play to their full potential borne out of a domestic system that nurtures their talent and promotes the game and an international outlook that ensures they are battle hardened for world level events
If anyone thinks the above is not important then think again. If the above was achieved by 2021: (1) if a team such as, for example, India, WI, Pakistan, Sri Lanka found themselves needing 40 to win off 7 overs with 7 wickets left, then they would win (2) a team such as South Africa would be in the final (point (i) above being relevant to the semi-final result in this WC) (3) the round robin outcome would far more difficult to predict.
So, time to deliver (a) to (j). Over to you, ICC, ECB, Cricket Australia, BCCI etc etc No pressure.
It’s a typical Australian attitude to focus on India losing the game rather than England winning it. The Cricket.com.au website claimed as much in their report, and the first comment is the same here. Can’t quite bring themselves to give the old enemy any credit, eh? At least my favourite Aussie player, Alex Blackwell, pro that she is, had the commendable spirit to congratulate England on Twitter shortly after the result.
Clanger doesn’t want much by 2021 I think?! I’m not even sure that all those things will ever be possible to achieve, let alone by 2021. Some of them are almost part of the women’s cricket landscape, and we will probably never get equally matched sides – what with form and injuries etc. it’s unlikely that all the teams even if equal on paper will be able to achieve the same results. You have players from different generations playing in the same team, they’re not all starting from the same place. And some players will always have a weakness in the field be it throwing or ground fielding but be very good with bat or ball. Some bowlers will give away more extras but take more wickets, and so on etc. It will be very difficult if not impossible to get all that equalised in such a short space of time.
This match was absolutely incredible and the journey England have been on this summer, simply unforgettable. It was a pleasure to follow. The team’s character and fighting spirit were what saved them on many an occasion and the final was the best example of that. Is till can’t believe they won after a largely subdued batting performance with so few boundaries. India bowled and fielded well, but England never really unleashed in the way they would have wanted. 228 should not have been a winning score and by all my days it very nearly wasn’t!
As for Robinson, what a job he’s done, talk about being ahead of schedule with the team’s development! I love the way he always sounds so enthused with the team’s abilities – he has always said they’ve had that extra special something and so it’s proved.
So many little key events punctuate the big stories, like the wonderful innings from Raut, Kaur and Sciver; and Goswami’s and Shrubsole’s magnificent bowling.
Katherine Brunt played what I though was a brilliant little innings, she was much improved after she was guilty of trying to overhit the ball against South Africa in the semi. And Alex Hartley’s bowling was also impressive, although she went for a few more runs than she’d have liked this time, her 2 wickets were absolutely vital and came at the perfect moments for England. The focus and nerve of Sciver holding onto those 2 skied hits near the end. And Taylor’s stumping, the stumping-that-never-was-but-by-goodness-should-have-been, was a classic example of her phenomenal wicketkeeping skill. The brutal hitting of Krishnamurthy when England were down and nearly out; the composure of Deepti Sharma whilst all around her was crumbling… the list goes on and on.
The atmosphere was electric from start to finish and I met a couple of people who said this was one of the best cricket matches they had ever attended. It was the friendliest Lord’s ambience I have ever experienced.
Overall England’s batting and bowling fluctuated a bit at times and they were far from perfect throughout the past month – but that’s the way these competitions tend to go. The main factors I think that set the England team apart from the rest were their self-belief, strength of the lower batting order, and fighting spirit. This team simply do not know when they are beaten, and that’s a happy realisation to lack.