Five-star Marsh destroys Pakistan

Laura Marsh Pakistan

Off-spinner Laura Marsh has taken eight wickets in just two World Cup matches

Laura Marsh recorded England's best bowling figures at a World Cup as England maintained their impressive 100 per cent record with an eight-wicket thumping of Pakistan.

The 22-year-old off-spinner finished with stunning figures of 5-15, a career-best and fifth on the all-time list at World Cups, as England dismissed their opponents for a measly 78 - a total which Charlotte Edwards' side had little trouble knocking off.

The result means England top Group B and their hat-trick of wins in Sydney means they are now unbeaten in 17 matches and carry through maximum points to the Super Six stage which starts on Saturday when they face unbeaten New Zealand at Bankstown.

England then meet West Indies at Drummoyne on Tuesday before a crunch lash with hosts Australia next Thursday back at the North Sydney Oval.

On a warm day, England coach Mark Lane made three changes from the side which thrashed India, bringing in Marsh, Rainford-Brent and Anya Shrubsole for Isa Guha, Nicky Shaw and Jenny Gunn.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Pakistan made an encouraging start with openers Nain Abidi and Bismah Maroof, a right-left hand combination, complementing each other's styles well.

With Abidi quick to latch on to anything short, thrashing Shrubsole and Brunt through or over point, Maroof looked solid when playing straight down the ground. But their 31-run opening stand was ended in Brunt's fifth over when Marsh twice juggled Maroof at square leg before finally grabbing the loose ball with one hand.

That catch sparked the Marsh show as the Sussex all-rounder was introduced into the attack in the 12th over, a move which had dramatic results.

Lydia Greenway Sarah Taylor

Lydia Greenway celebrates with Sarah Taylor after taking a wonderful one-handed catch off Marsh

In her third over she teased Sukhan Faiz to edge to Claire Taylor who completed a fine catch at slip, diving to her left.

Marsh soon picked up her second wicket when Abidi, who looked more at home against the quicker bowlers, carved a drive straight to Beth Morgan in the covers.

Meanwhile, fellow spinner Holly Colvin, who intelligently varied her pace, had little luck at the other end and never was this more evident than in the 23rd over when two attempted drives somehow eluded fielders.

In contrast, Marsh could do little wrong, knocking back Sajjida Shah's off stump to leave Pakistan facing an uphill struggle at 59 for four.

The off-spinner made it two wickets in as many balls but she had Lydia Greenway to thank, the short-leg fielder swooping one-handed to catch Sana Mir first ball as Pakistan lost their fifth wicket.

Marsh was irresistable and picked up her maiden 'five-for' when she trapped captain Urooj Mumtaz leg before to end the skipper's painful 18-ball duck.

Colvin was finally rewarded when she tempted Javeria Khan to unwisely heave across the line, the batter paying the ultimate price by being comprehensively bowled. Colvin's final figures of 10-7-8-1 could even be viewed as unflattering considering the spell she cast on the Pakistan batsmen.

Edwards came into the attack with instant effect, tempting Asmavia Iqbal to cart straight into Shrubsole's safe hands as Pakistan's plight worsened.

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards cuts to the boundary as England ease to an eight-wicket victory at the North Sydney Oval today

The end of the innings arrived swiftly as the returning Brunt rattled Qanita Jalil's stumps before Edwards trapped Batool Fatima in the next over.

Chasing 79 was never going to be a problem and perhaps England's only consideration was whether they might knock them off before lunch.

England suffered an early setback when Sarah Taylor, who had just played arguably the shot of the game - a slightly uppish on drive down the ground, pulled Jalil low to Khan who did well to hang on to the chance.

Edwards joined Rainford-Brent who looked in good touch, unfurling a number of stylish cover drives and punches off the back foot.

Pakistan's noisy supporters continued their unerring chanting, even when Edwards cracked a scorching drive that raced to the point boundary on the stroke of lunch.

Edwards continued when play resumed, milking singles off the spinners and tossing in the occassional boundary during the sort of innings which seemed so effortless she might have had an ice-cream in one hand and a bat in the other.

The only downside was the dismissal of Rainford-Brent, who played on trying an ambitious swipe towards the legside, but even that could not dampen a one-sided win.