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Perfection satisfies Shrubsole

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A “perfect game” ensured defending champions England kept their hopes of a second successive Women’s World Cup triumph alive.

Charlotte Edwards’ side headed into today’s clash with South Africa aware they needed to emerge victorious by impressive margins in their final two Super Sixes encounters to have a chance of reaching the final.

Part one of that assignment was handled with aplomb today thanks in no small part to Anya Shrubsole, who continued her outstanding tournament - in which she leads the wicket-taking charts with 13 despite missing England’s opening match - by claiming a career-best 5-17.

That effort ensured South Africa were dismissed for a measly 77, setting England a victory target they attained with 40.3 overs to spare at the Barabati Stadium.

The seven-wicket triumph meant England closed the net run-rate gap on New Zealand, whom they will face in a potentially make-or-break encounter on Wednesday.

Lydia Greenway & Arran Brindle

Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle ushered England to what match-award winner Anya Shrubsole described as a "perfect" triumph

“We knew we had to come here and win really well and that’s what we did. It was the perfect game for us,” enthused Shrubsole in an exclusive interview with ecb.co.uk.

Edwards opted to bowl after winning the toss in favourable conditions, perhaps surprisingly given England’s best hope of improving their net run-rate was by batting.

Yet Shrubsole et al repaid their skipper’s faith in outstanding fashion, much to the delight of the 21-year-old.

“As a bowling unit, we have been going pretty well and obviously Charlotte has that confidence in us to go out and do a job,” she added. “That is what we have done today.

“We are really happy as a bowling unit again and the batters today backed us up and knocked off the runs quickly as they needed to.”

England endured a little wobble early in their chase, slipping to 26 for three, yet were ushered to victory by an outstanding unbroken 55-run partnership between Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle.

The nature of the win, with many of the XI contributing, left Shrubsole particularly satisfied.

“The batters backed us up brilliantly,” she added. “Losing those few wickets was irrelevant; we just needed to knock those runs off quickly and the batters did that.

“Wickets do not count in net run-rate, so it was all about the overs. They went out there and executed the plan brilliantly.”

As well as being delighted with the team's success, Shrubsole could also take satisfaction from her individual efforts.

Asked whether performing in such a big tournament is a dream come true, she replied: “Yes, of course it is. Any person would be happy with I have achieved so far.

“I had a pretty good day with the ball today; everything seems to have clicked really well for me at the moment, but I am just happy to contribute towards a really good team performance and win that we vitally needed.

“I’ve been looking to bowl straight and swing it slightly and just give myself the best chance of taking wickets. If you bowl the right areas on any wicket over here you are going to get success."