World Cup joy for England as India collapse at Lord's
England won the Women's World Cup final in the most dramatic fashion against India at Lord's. The hosts were staring at defeat with India, chasing a modest 229 to win, cruising along at 190 for three.
But a late collapse, sparked by five wickets in 19 balls from Anya Shrubsole, saw England snatch an unlikely victory by nine runs.
Anya Shrubsole described it as a dream come true.
Shrubsole, who took five wickets in 19 balls, said: "I'm a little bit lost for words, if I'm honest.
"It was just an unbelievable game, we looked for minute like we were out of it, but one of the great things about this team, we never give up.
"We never let the run rate get away from us, even though we weren't getting wickets. We knew if we got a couple we'd be right in the game and all was well in the end.
"I think it's a dream and a dream you never think is going to come true."
Coach Mark Robinson remained confident England could win despite the lack of early wickets.
"I always thought we were in the game," he said. "Obviously they (India) played really well and full credit to them.
"It was always about getting that one wicket. If we get the one wicket, we try and get two and three, and we did.
"I'm so proud of them.
"We've got a lot of heart and a lot of courage in this team and we just need that break every now and again and once we got the break we were right in this game."
A memorable match felt like a milestone occasion for the game, and for women's sport in this country.
The home of cricket was sold out while the worldwide television audience was expected to top 100million - and even the ticket touts were out in force all the way from St John's Wood station to the Grace Gate.
England had lost to India in their opening game but impressive victories in the next six made them favourites to add to the cups they won in 1973, 1993 - both before women were admitted to the MCC - and 2009.
Captain Heather Knight won the toss and chose to bat first, but she had departed for one when talisman Natalie Sciver, dubbed the Ben Stokes of the women's team, arrived in the middle with England 63 for three. Sciver and Sarah Taylor put on 83 for the fourth wicket, but both were victims of a stunning spell of three wickets for two runs off 10 balls by fast bowler Jhulan Goswami.
Katherine Brunt made a breezy 34 and Jenny Gunn an unbeaten 25, but England's total of 228 for seven appeared distinctly gettable.
Yet Shrubsole got England off to a dream start as India began their reply, nicking the off-stump of the dangerous Smriti Mandhana for a duck. When Mithali Raj got herself run out, by Sciver India were 43 for two and the game finely poised.
However, that brought Harmanpreet Kaur. She clubbed two mammoth sixes on her way to 51 before holing out to Tammy Beaumont, off Alex Hartley, going for a third.
The game seemed up by the time Raut, struggling with cramp, finally fell leg before to Shrubsole for 86, leaving India 191 for four.
But when Hartley accounted for Sushma Verma for a duck, and Shrubsole removed Krishnamurthy and Goswami in successive balls, England had a lifeline and suddenly Lord's was hosting a thriller.
Taylor thought she had Deepthi Sharma stumped but a drawn-out replay could not prove her foot was off the floor. Yet moments later Shikha Pandey was run out, Sharma picked out Sciver off Shrubsole and India were nine down.
Shrubsole finished the job, clean bowling Gayakwadto spark wild celebrations.