"Bitterly disappointed" England Women's captain concedes that Australia deserved to win the final
England came into this game on the back of four straight wins in the competition, including an eight-wicket win against Australia in Galle. But chasing a similar sort of total on a good pitch, the outcome was very different. A late riposte inspired by Jenny Gunn’s 19 gave Australia a few jitters, but England finally fell four runs short.
Edwards, the Player of the Tournament, led the way with 28 from 23 balls, but no one else crossed 20 as Australia winkled out wickets at regular intervals. Edwards, though, was adamant that the approach to the chase had been the right one. "My role at the top of the order is to keep hitting boundaries,” she said. “That’s been my role for 18 months, and that has worked. Part and parcel of that is that you sometimes get out.”
England started poorly with the ball, conceding 47 in the Power Play, and that set the tone for much of what followed. “Australia were better than us today,” said Edwards. “We were below par with the ball and had to pay for that today. The first six overs of their innings was probably the difference between the two teams. We got 30-odd runs and those 10 to 15 runs was the difference. Our lack of discipline up front really cost us.”
While disappointed at the loss, Edwards said that she was proud to be part of the game that had showcased the best of women’s cricket. “I just said that to the Australian girls. For me I’d rather play in a final…obviously, I’m disappointed we lost but to need six runs off the last ball and see some of the shots that we saw, it was just a great spectacle for the women’s game. So I’m very proud of that. I’m bitterly disappointed to not win and lift the trophy, but Australia thoroughly deserved their victory today.”
Edwards accepted that the tension associated with a final may have played its part in the poor start. "They didn’t seem nervous in the dressing room,” she said. “Katherine [Brunt] didn’t start that well, so it was probably nerves there. I didn’t pick up on it and I guess it’s just the World Cup final … you’re bound to be nervous.”
There were no regrets, however, about the decision to bowl first. "I would do it every single time,” she said. “It wasn’t the reason why we lost the game. The reason we lost the game was lack of discipline with the ball. We even felt we could chase it down. It was a good pitch out there, a lot better than the semi-final pitch and we just lost wickets in clusters.”
After Edwards departed, the chase unravelled, with Sarah Taylor, who had made an unbeaten 65 in the Galle game, edging Ellyse Perry behind. “Sarah’s job is to bat through a little bit more but when you chase, you always have an eye on the run rate. We were really confident because we’d chased down that total at Galle. We knew where we needed to be, but it’s a final. I guess the pressure did tell in the end.”