England rose to the occasion in front of a sold-out Lord’s to win the ICC Women's World Cup in unforgettable fashion. Here we take a closer look at the team’s overall performance.
Lost to India by 35 runs
Beat Pakistan by 107 runs (DLS Method)
Beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets
Beat South Africa by 68 runs
Beat Australia by 3 runs
Beat New Zealand by 75 runs
Beat West Indies by 92 runs
Beat South Africa by 2 wickets
Beat India by 9 runs
What went wrong?
After a shock defeat to India in its opening fixture, not very much at all. That loss raised questions whether a relatively inexperienced side could cope with the level of expectation which comes with hosting a World Cup but Heather Knight’s side bounced back in style, reeling off eight victories on the bounce to lift the trophy at Lord’s amid scenes that will never be forgotten by those who witnessed them.
Positives to take from the tournament?
England coach Mark Robinson took a big risk by calling time on Charlotte Edwards’ international career last May but the move has paid dividends. There was no doubting the former England skipper’s class – she remained the team’s best batter – or commitment to the cause, but there was a feeling that younger players were living in her shadow and failing to step up and take responsibility. In this tournament we saw standout performances from a number of those players: Player of the Tournament, Tammy Beaumont, finished as the competition’s leading run-scorer, Nat Sciver struck two brutal centuries and invented a new shot in the process, and left-arm spinner Alex Hartley had a happy knack of claiming big scalps, including the dangerous Harmanpreet Kaur in the final. The more experienced players also led from the front, notably Sarah Taylor (superb with the bat and behind the stumps), Heather Knight (a natural leader) and, of course, Anya Shrubsole, who took 12 wickets including six in the final.
Areas for improvement?
It seems churlish to pick out any areas of weakness after such an inspired all-round effort but Robinson will have identified running between the wickets and fielding as two areas for improvement as his team begins its preparations for the 2018 ICC World T20 in the West Indies. England suffered six run-outs in the tournament and more than a third of chances offered were spilled in the field. In another tournament, such errors could have cost them dearly.