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England Women eye a third-place finish

Press Trust of India
Feb 14, 2013 at 05:11pm IST

Mumbai: England's dream of title defence might have come to an end but the holders look for a consolation win when they take on New Zealand in the third place play-off match at the Brabourne stadium here Friday.

Defending champions England and last edition's runners-up New Zealand were knocked out of the tournament after West Indies upstaged Australia to reach the final.

Having defeated New Zealand by 15 runs in their Super Six match Wednesday, England would be keen to carry the momentum into Friday's game.

England Women eye a third-place finish

Having defeated New Zealand by 15 runs in their Super Six match Wednesday, England would be keen to carry the momentum into Friday's game.

The Charlotte-Edwards-led side had a few positives in the previous game as wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor, who had flopped in the series with just 35 against India followed by three ducks in a row, made a fluent 79-ball 88.

The opening pair of Edwards and Danielle Wyatt shared a half-century stand against the Kiwis to give England a solid platform. The English would once again rely on the openers.

"[We need to play for] third place and rankings. Every game of cricket England play, we want to win. This won't change. We are disappointed but we have a kind of roller coaster last two weeks in this tournament. The girls have reacted to our losses unbelievably well," said Edwards.

"I can't talk highly enough about group of players how they have picked themselves and got on about it. They have put in some magnificent performances. They will do the same and we want to finish third and that is really important to us to end the tournament on a high," she added.

The English pace attack is formidable with the lethal combination of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, who have scalped 25 wickets between them.

Shrubsole, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 13 dismissals in five matches, suffered a side strain and did not bowl against the Kiwis in the inconsequential match Wednesday, and her fitness will be a key for England.

"She wasn't feeling too great and to be fair, once we knew what had happened [in the other match], I don't think we could have put her through 50 overs of fielding when she wasn't feeling all well," Edwards had said.

On the other hand, New Zealand, who missed out on the Cup in the last edition of the World Cup to England, will be desperate to exact revenge and finish third in this edition.

"We enjoy playing England. It is always a great battle between the two nations...it has been for years. It is the third place up for grabs that we are certainly going to scrap for and the fact that we are playing England, it will be another great game of cricket," New Zealand assistant coach and former captain Haidee Tiffen said.

For the White Ferns, one-down batter and vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite who notched up her century against England, will bolster the middle order. The Kiwis have largely depended on in-form captain Suzie Bates, who has been in menacing form to wield the willow and she is the top run-scorer in the tournament with 386 under her belt so far, to dominate the English bowling attack in the crucial game.

Though pacers Sian Ruck and Rachel Candy went wicketless in the previous match, the team would expect them to provide the initial breakthroughs. Left-arm spinner Morna Nielsen, who has picked up eight wickets in four matches, would also hope to trouble the English batters.

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