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England women stun India in World Cup - now for the Ashes

Cricket

England women’s captain Heather Knight has already set her sights on regaining the Ashes in Australia later this year after leading her team to World Cup success.

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Knight’s side beat India by nine runs in a thrilling final showdown in front of a full house at Lord’s overnight, Australian time, to secure a fourth title success.

After restricting England to 7-228, India were cruising towards a maiden World Cup triumph only to lose their last seven wickets for 28 runs as they slumped from an imposing-looking 3-191 to be all out for 219.

A stunning spell of bowling from Anya Shrobsole (6-46) kick-started the collapse and Knight hailed her side’s never-say-die mentality.

“We knew we were in with a chance,” Knight said.

“We’ve done it the hard way in this tournament which I guess makes it all the better”.

Chasing 229 for victory, opener Punam Raut played fantastically to score 86 but her dismissal proved to be the turning point as India capitulated.

With Raut at the crease, India needed just more than a run a ball for victory but her dismissal when she was trapped lbw by Shrubsole appeared to send shockwaves through the team.

Sushma Verma was bowled around her legs by Alex Hartley for a second ball duck, with Vena Krishnamurthy following her back to the pavilion for 35 after holing out to Nat Sciver off Shrubsole.

Two more wickets followed in the same over as Jhulan Goswami was bowled first ball and Deepti Sharma found the hands of Sciver again to depart for 14.

Shikha Pandey was then run out for four to leave India needing 10 runs from as many balls, but only one further run was added to their total as Shrubsole clean bowled Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

The Ashes series starts in Brisbane on 22 October with the first of three one-day internationals.

The day-night Test match at North Sydney Oval starts on 9 November and will be followed by three Twenty20 internationals.

Knight believes the success under pressure is just the tonic her side needs before heading out to Australia.

“We did feel it was slipping away a little bit at 190 for three. It’s been a theme of the tournament, us fighting hard and holding our nerve,” she said.

“We’ve got a massive winter ahead, we’ve got the Ashes and it’s going to be a great contest.

“You saw in that clash down at Bristol the sort of contest that those two teams can have.

“I’m getting excited already about the Ashes Down Under and hopefully they can get their pay dispute sorted and we can play.”

-AAP

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