24 years ago, Australia Women beat New Zealand to Win their 5th World Cup Title

December 29, 1997- Australian women won their fourth World Cup title.

Hosted by India, the 1997 World Cup, also known as the Hero Honda Women’s World Cup, was the sixth edition of the big tournament with 11 teams competing for the ultimate title from December 10 to 29.

 

1997 Women's World Cup Winners - Australia
1997 Women’s World Cup Winners – Australia. PC: Twitter

 

Divided into two groups of six and five teams respectively, Australia finished at the top of their group winning all four of the five matches (the opening fixture being abandoned due to rain) with 27 points achieving a number of records as well:

Against Denmark:

Highest total of Women’s World Cup- 412/3

Largest victory (by runs) at the tournament- 363 runs

Belinda Clark (c)- First Double ton of Women’s ODI

Highest Individual score of Women’s World Cup (229*)

Against Pakistan:

Bowled them out for the lowest World Cup total- 27

Joined by England from their group and New Zealand, India from Group B for the semi-finals, the Aussies got the better of the host in their national capital for a place in the Finals after the match was reduced to 32 overs per side due to bad light while New Zealand got the better of defending champions to reach a step closer to the trophy.

A packed Eden Gardens in Kolkata witnessed confident Australia trying to get hold of their fourth title while the White Ferns tried at their first one on December 29. The latter won the toss but weren’t able to stand to the Aussies bowling attack as they were bowled out for 164 with the leading run-scorer of the tournament, Debbie Hockley once again putting up a player of the match performance (79- 7 4s, 1 6) but failing to get support from her teammates. For Aussies, Karen Rolton, Charmaine Mason, Bronwyn Calver got a couple each, one each went to Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Olivia Magno and there were two run-outs as well. Chasing the target which wasn’t even half of their highest total in the tournament, Belinda Clark played a captain’s innings of 52 as the Aussies became the World Cup champions with 14 balls and 5 wickets remaining. For White Ferns, Katrina Keenan and Kathryn Ramel got two each while Catherine Campbell got one.

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Though Australia took the title, White Ferns players Debbie Hockley and Katrina Keenan finished as the top run-scorer and wicket-taker of the tournament respectively.

Later, New Zealand got the better of the Aussies in the next edition (2000) of the Cup but Australia who further went on winning the 2005 and 2013 editions have the most number of titles (6) of Women’s Cricket World Cup to date.

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