Having won the toss England did everything right with the ball in the first 13 overs reducing this powerful Australian batting line-up to 32/5. Shrubsole claimed three wickets with her booming inswingers, including a beauty to dismiss Jess Cameron which removed her middle stump. Brunt was no less impressive but only had one wicket to show for her efforts. Charlotte Edwards and England then took their foot off the gas allowing Lisa Sthalekar (41) and Sarah Coyte (44) to build a priceless partnership of 82 runs. Perhaps the critical moment was a dropped catch off Sthalekar at cover by Lydia Greenway of all people. It was not a difficult chance away to Greenway's left, but it hit the turf and Sthalekar had a life on 11. Perhaps Charlotte Edwards should have gone for the kill with Brunt and Shrubsole, but she did not, and although Holly Colvin bowled a very tight spell (2/19) Australia escaped and clawed their way to 147 before they were bowled out in the 45th over. Shrubsole ended with 3/24 and Brunt, who still had two overs left to bowl of her spell, 2/22.
At the start of the game England would have taken 148 as a score to chase, as the wicket eased. Without Ellyse Perry (stomach bug) the Aussie pace attack did not look too frightening with the medium pace of Megan Schutt and Julie Hunter, backed up by 17 year Holly Ferling in just her second game. Nine off the first over and all seemed rosey in England's garden, but a shocking lbw decision sent Edward's packing. The following over was a maiden and then the prolific Sarah Taylor faced her first ball from the innocuous Schutt. Taylor had achieved her first ever international golden duck against the West Indies. She achieved her second here as she flayed at a wide ball and edged to slip. England were 14/2. Danni Wyatt and Lydia Greenway started to settle England nerves, but when Wyatt edged a wide long-hop to the keeper off Ferling's first ball, and Arran Brindle patted one into cover's hands, it was time to panic. The loss of Heather Knight and Jenny Gunn within another 10 balls meant England had slumped to 39/6. This was not that sort of wicket as Greenway and Laura Marsh (22) showed, until she too was on the end of an appalling lbw decision. England were 96/7 at this stage. Somehow this seemed to galvanise Greenway and she started to look more fluent and hit some precious boundaries, but on 49 she spooned a catch to short extra cover and England were 114/8. Brunt followed almost immediately trying to hit over the top, so England needed 34 with just Colvin and Shrubsole at the wicket. Colvin seemed inspired by the hopeless situation and crashed 12 off a Coyte over. Shrubsole defended well and then hit Sthalekar over the top (only just) and Ferling to the cover boundary. The target got nearer until the equation was just three runs from three overs and Colvin was confidently facing Osborne's right arm spin. She stepped back and across to the third ball of the over short outside the off-stump and shaped to cut, but just feathered it to a grateful Aussie skipper behind the stumps. England had lost by two runs.
Elsewhere New Zealand completed a comfortable eight wicket victory over Sri Lanka. In the early morning Mumbai dew they bowled the Sri Lankan's out for 103 in 42 overs. Leah Tahuhu claimed 4/27 and Sian Ruck 3/16. Only Surangika (34) and Rasangika (20) offered any real resistance. Amy Satterthwaite continued her miserable run with the bat with a duck. Frances Mackay (39) and Sophie Devine (29) saw New Zealand home in just 23 overs, which substantially improves their NRR, which could still be vital.
And in the final game the West Indies just managed to overcome a plucky South Africa. Thanks to another good team performance with the bat - Chetty (45), Brits (44), van Niekerk (33no) and du Preez (31) - South Africa posted 230/7. In reply the West Indies seemed to be breezing along as they reached 141/1, with Stafanie Taylor (75) once again in fine form, but when she and Kycia Knight (46) went in quick succession South Africa sniffed an implausible victory. Further wickets fell, including Deandra Dottin (24) and Shemaine Campbelle (33), but the Proteas could not stem the flow of runs too, and the West Indies got home with just two wickets intact, but with four and a half overs to spare.
All of which leaves the table like this.
Super Six stage
Australia only need to win one of their two last games to be in the final. If either New Zealand or the West Indies win both their games then it will be one of them. If they don't then England could still be in the shake-up if they demolish South Africa and New Zealand and vastly improve their NRR. It seems an unlikely scenario, but who know in this topsy turvy World Cup.
The next matches on Sunday are
Sri Lanka v Australia
England v South Africa
and on Monday
West Indies v New Zealand
England v Australia - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-womens-world-cup-2013/engine/current/match/594904.html
New Zealand v Sri Lanka - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-womens-world-cup-2013/engine/current/match/594905.html
West Indies v South Africa - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-womens-world-cup-2013/engine/current/match/594906.html