Today was the day on which the English women scripted history by winning the inaugural edition of the Women’s World Cup in 1973. The final was played between the two cricket pioneers of that time, England and Australia at the Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.
The English team was led by Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who was single-handedly responsible for the upliftment of women’s cricket in England, and the Australian team was led by Miriam Knee. After winning the toss, Rachael decided to put the opposition in the fielding role.
England openers Enid Bakewell and Lynne Thomas stepped out on the pitch and made a good opening partnership of 101 runs. While Enid was definitely the woman of the hour after her 118 runs, Thomas made a patient 41 runs in her inning. Skipper Rachael too was determined to give the Aussie bowlers a hard time as she too made a 50-plus score and managed to put a competitive total of 278 in 60 overs after losing just three wickets.
For Australia, skipper Miriam Knee led the bowling attack. She managed to get the wickets of both the opener, who were clearly there to destroy the Aussie bowling line-up, and Right-arm fast-medium bowler Raelee Thompson took the big wicket of the England skipper.
When Australia came out to chase the big score of 279, they looked pretty good in the start. The openers Bev Wilson and Jackie Potter stitched a much-needed opening partnership of 64 runs. Other than Wilson and Potter only Elaine Bray, who made a very patient 40 runs, was able to put some runs on the board.
Now talking about English bowling, it was nothing but perfect. After June Stephenson picked up the first wicket of Potter, England bowlers were on a roll. They took wickets in regular intervals and even though Australia managed to play the whole 60 overs, they only managed to get 187 runs on the board.
Thus, it was the combined efforts of the whole England team that got them to their first-ever World Cup victory in 1973 by a mammoth of 92 runs.
England: 279/3 (60)
Australia: 187/9 (60