England fall just short in thriller
England's hopes of defending their Women's World Cup title were severely dented as Australia held their nerve to claim a tense two-run victory at the Brabourne Stadium.
Having lost six early wickets in pursuit of 148, Charlotte Edwards' side rebuilt outstandingly as Lydia Greenway hit 49 and Laura Marsh 22.
However, as the victory target came into sight, Greenway, Marsh and Katherine Brunt departed in quick succession to leave 34 required when number 11 Anya Shrubsole joined Holly Colvin.
Remarkably, the duo put on 31 in just 6.1 overs to leave England needing only two for a tie and three to win. But off-spinner Erin Osborne found the latter's edge and skipper Jodie Fields took a smart catch to spark jubilant celebrations among the Australians.
Earlier, Shrubsole profited upon Edwards winning a seemingly crucial toss to claim 3-24 as Australia were dismissed for 147, Lisa Sthalekar striking 41 and Sarah Coyte 44.
Yet those efforts did not prove substantial enough as highly touted 17-year-old Holly Ferling, only in the XI due to a stomach upset ruling out Ellyse Perry, starred in just her second appearance by claiming 3-35.
England, facing an uphill battle having lost their opening group game versus Sri Lanka, got off to the perfect start as they looked to draw level with Australia on four points.
Shrubsole was the star, using prodigious swing to have Rachael Haynes caught and bowled, Jess Cameron castled with a perfect yorker and Meg Lanning taken behind.
In between those dismissal, Katherine Brunt chipped in when Alex Blackwell was held by wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor before Fields also departed to Jenny Gunn.
Sthalekar, profiting upon being dropped early, and Coyte responded with an aggressive 82-run stand, after which England made short work of the tail.
Edwards looked in fine form at the start of the chase, cover driving and pulling fours in the opening over, yet was soon trudging off following a poor decision from umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge.
Megan Schutt struck the pad and Palliyaguruge raised the finger despite the ball appearing set to comfortably miss leg stump.
Schutt also claimed the prized scalp of Sarah Taylor, caught behind for a golden duck before Ferling got rid of Danni Wyatt and Jenny Gunn either side of Julie Hunter’s two wickets - of Arran Brindle and Heather Knight - in an over.
Greenway and Marsh kept England’s hopes alive, showing outstanding determination in a restorative stand.
Yet the latter also fell victim to an unfortunate lbw decision, this time by umpire Sarika Prasad, and - despite the best efforts of Shrubsole and Colvin - England fell agonisingly short.
10:09am - WICKET! Colvin c Fields b Osborne 16; ENGLAND 145 ALL OUT - AUSTRALIA WIN BY TWO RUNS - How devastating. With just two runs needed for a tie, Colvin edges off-spinner Osborne behind to spark jubilation for Australia. England still have a chance of reaching the final, but face an uphill battle.
9:59am - And there's another fine shot from the number 11, who produces a delicious cover-driven boundary off Ferling. Twelve needed from 30 balls, though it's worth mentioning a tie would also be a very good result for England.
9:55am - And now Anya Shrubsole has come to the party, trotting down the pitch and nonchalantly chipping Sthalekar over mid-on for four.
9:51am - Or are they?! Hope comes in the form of a Coyte set of six that yields three off-side fours for Holly Colvin. Twenty-two needed from seven overs.
9:46am - WICKET! Brunt c Schutt b Sthalekar 2; Eng 114/9 - Well, the naturally attacking Brunt was always going to go for it, yet she hits tamely to mid-on. England are on the brink.
9:43am - WICKET! Greenway c Sthalekar b Ferling 49; Eng 114/8 - Oh, what a shame. Greenway falls one shy of a fifty, but, more importantly, Australia become favourites. The left-hander hits Ferling straight to cover to herald the youngster's third wicket.
9:33am - That's an excellent response from Greenway, who unfurls a signature slog-sweep to the boundary. Katherine Brunt has joined the left-hander.
9:26am - WICKET! Marsh lbw Coyte 22; Eng 96/7 - I am afraid England have fallen foul of another poor decision, this time from umpire Prasad. Sarah Coyte's delivery appeared to be missing leg stump, but Marsh was given out to end an outstanding 57-run partnership.
9:14am - Ferling has not managed to live up to her first spell and is gifting England some free runs with wides. Those will certainly help as Marsh and Greenway look to continue this restorative stand. Time for drinks.
8:59am - That appears to have given Greenway added confidence as she shows further good form by pulling Sthalekar for another boundary.
8:49am - That's more like it. Lisa Sthalekar sends down a loopy half-volley and Greenway crashes it through cover for four.
8:34am - England are struggling to up the ante here as Australia send down some tight overs. Greenway, in particular, is struggling to find the gaps.
8:20am - After a brief lull in proceedings, Marsh finds the boundary at point with a lovely drive off Schutt. More of those are required.
8:08am - Drinks come on to the field with England 55 for six
8:03am - Laura Marsh is showing initial signs of leading a riposte, striking Ferling for two boundaries through the off side with flowing drives.
7:47am - WICKET! Gunn b Ferling 0; Eng 39/6 - England are losing wickets in a real hurry here. Highly touted youngster Ferling, only in the side due to Ellyse Perry's injury, sends down a brilliant swinging yorker that cleans up Jenny Gunn.
7:43am - WICKET! Knight lbw Hunter 0; Eng 38/5 - That was not what I had in mind! Heather Knight is struck in front by a Hunter away-swinger and umpire Sarika Prasad raises the finger with the ball just clipping leg.
7:39am - WICKET! Brindle c Haynes b Hunter; Eng 38/4 - England need to get a partnership going now as Arran Brindle departs via a loose shot. She drove outside off stump, the ball found the outer half of the bat and Rachael Haynes claimed an easy catch at backward point.
7:34am - WICKET! Wyatt c Fields b Ferling 16; Eng 37/3 - Looking to put her initial struggles to one side, Greenway delivers the shot of the day when beautifully driving Hunter down the ground. She follows that up with a cross-batted flick over square-leg. However, Ferling then claims a wicket with her first delivery - a short-and-wide long-hop that Wyatt somehow edges behind.
7:27am - England benefit from an incorrect decision this time as Lydia Greenway is given not out after being rapped on the pad by Julie Hunter. Replays show the ball was hitting off stump.
7:22am - Danni Wyatt finds an excellent response, pulling a Schutt full-toss for four before cutting another later in the over.
7:17am - WICKET! Taylor c Lanning b Schutt 0; Eng 14/2 - Another huge breakthrough for Australia, who are suddenly vibrant. Sarah Taylor attempts an expansive drive, but edges to first slip and Meg Lanning takes a comfortable catch.
7:13am - WICKET! Edwards lbw 8; Eng 11/1 - Well, that is a real shocker, I am afraid. Edwards looked cross as she walked off and understandably so. Schutt hits the pad for the second delivery in succession and umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge raises the finger when the ball would likely have missed a fourth stump down leg.
7:05am - Megan Schutt sends down the first over of England's reply and skipper Charlotte Edwards is quickly into her stride, cover driving and pulling to the boundary.
6:17am - WICKET! Ferling c Shrubsole b Brunt 4; AUSTRALIA 147 ALL OUT - And that's that. Holly Ferling, having struck Brindle over cover for four in the previous over, picks out mid-on off Brunt. That completes an outstanding bowling effort from England, who are surely favourites chasing 148.
6:04am - WICKET! Schutt c Knight b Brindle 2; Aus 138/9 - Brindle now has a second wicket as Megan Schutt's slog fails to clear mid-on.
5:53am - WICKET! Coyte c Shrubsole b Colvin 44; Aus 128/8 - Coyte's impressive resistance comes to an end on 44 as she advances to Colvin yet hits straight to Shrubsole at mid-on.
5:47am - Julie Hunter may well have enjoyed a moment of fortune there. She advanced down the pitch, missed a swipe and Taylor whipped off the bails. However, the third umpire delivers a not-out verdict; it was extremely close, but I am not sure Hunter had anything behind the line. Understandable that the umpire would err on the side of caution.
5:40am - Coyte starts the batting powerplay with a cut four. Shrubsole is doing some stretches and may well be returning to the attack, likely alongside Brunt. It's drinks time first, though.
5:30am - WICKET! Osborne c Greenway b Colvin 0; Aus 115/7 - As is so often the case in cricket, one wicket brings two as Erin Osborne hits tamely to Greenway at cover. England will be looking to get through the tail quickly now.
5:24am - WICKET! Sthalekar b Brindle 41; AUS 114/6 - That's quite a bowling change from Charlotte Edwards. Arran Brindle comes back into the attack and Sthalekar plays all round a typically loopy first delivery to be bowled. Big wicket for England that.
5:22am - This is becoming a very good stand - which is heading towards 100 - for Australia, with Coyte sweeping Marsh for two boundaries in an over.
5:14am - Coyte clips Marsh, whose full-toss was swept for four by Sthalekar in her previous over, to leg for a single that takes Australia's score into three figures.
5:06am - Sthalekar and Coyte remain for Australia, though spinners Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh have begun to find some control.
4:54am - Sthalekar shows initial signs of punishing England with a flowing drive off Gunn following up five wides earlier in the over.
4:46am - DROPPED CHANCE - Well, that's a bit of a sitter. Sthalekar cuts Genn straight to point, but Greenway - perhaps England's outstanding fielder - shells the chance.
4:33am - Australia seem keen to respond with a positive approach as Sarah Coyte chips boundaries over leg either side of Lisa Sthalekar cutting Shrubsole to the third-man fence. Four leg-byes then move the score past 50; time for a drink.
4:21am - WICKET! Fields c Greenway b Gunn 3; AUS 32/5 - I was just about to talk about the importance of a partnership for Australia. That has not materialised, with skipper Jodie Fields driving Jenny Gunn to Lydia Greenway at point.
4:09am - WICKET! Lanning c Taylor b Shrubsole 17; AUS 27/4 - She remains no longer, however! Quality bowling once more from Shrubsole, who gains a little less swing and subsequently finds the edge. Taylor takes a regulation low catch. Australia, the only unbeaten side in the competition, are under pressure.
4:06am - Amid the wickets tumbling at the other end, Lanning has remained and sees the benefit with two boundaries through backward point off a Brunt set of six, the first from the front foot and the second back.
3:57am - WICKET! Blackwell c Taylor b Brunt; AUS 15/3 - Wow! A sensational start gets a little better. The conditions are helpful, but you've got to use them. Brunt gets in on the act as, having been tickled through fine-leg for four, she finds the perfect line and length, locates the edge and has Alex Blackwell caught behind by Sarah Taylor.
3:52am - WICKET! Cameron b Shrubsole 0; AUS 10/2 - Two in an over! What a delivery this is from Shrubsole. She has been finding prodigious in-movement throughout and this time bowls Jess Cameron with the perfect yorker that comes in and crunches into the base of middle stump. England are on fire!
3:50am - WICKET! Haynes c & b Shrubsole 2; AUS 10/1 - England get the breakthrough their outstanding pressure deserves. Shrubsole's swing continues to cause problems and Rachael Haynes offers a simple return catch from an inside edge.
3:45am - There's plenty of swing on offer at the moment, particularly for Anya Shrubsole - who is bringing the ball back into the right-handed Lanning. The Australian opener still punishes the seamer's full delivery with a flowing cover drive, however.
3:34am - Excellent start by Katherine Brunt, whose first over sees her beat the bat of Meg Lanning with a sensational out-swinger. Anya Shrubsole is on at the other end.
3:25am - Australia are the only team to have brought four points through to this stage of the competition having beaten the two other sides in their group that qualified. England have two following a win versus West Indies and loss against Sri Lanka.
3:18am - This, of course, is a repeat of the recent World Twenty20 final, in which Australia somewhat upset the odds to overcome England. Charlotte Edwards' side will no doubt have revenge in mind, though victory is more important in the context of this tournament.
3:05am - ENGLAND WIN TOSS & BOWL - The news is that England have won the toss, which could be a crucial one, and elected to bowl on a damp surface. Furthermore, seamer Katherine Brunt, who had an ankle injury, is fit and no doubt relishing the prospect of making full use of the conditions. Australia, however, are shorn of the services of outstanding seamer Ellyse Perry due to a stomach upset.
3am - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live commentary of the crucial Women's World Cup Super Sixes encounter between England and Australia.