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Heather Knight almost took Anya Shrubsole off one over into WWC17 final-winning spell

Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner
@Ben_Wisden 2 minute read

England Women’s captain Heather Knight almost yanked Anya Shrubsole out of the attack one over into what would turn out to be the spell that won England the 2017 Women’s World Cup final.

With eight overs to play and India requiring 47 runs to win with seven wickets in hand, Mithali Raj’s side were ahead in the contest, and Knight threw the ball to the right-arm seamer in an attempt to make something happen.

But when Veda Krishnamurthy hit the first two balls of the 43rd over for a pair of boundaries, the home skipper wondered if she’d blundered in her choice of bowler. “I was actually thinking about bowling Anya a really short spell here and then bringing Katherine [Brunt] on,” she said on a Sky Sports Watchalong of the momentous climax. “And then the first ball goes for four and I think the next ball goes for four as well, so I was thinking, ‘Ah no, I’ve made a massive mistake, I should have brought Brunty on straightaway’.”

Three balls later Shrubsole struck, pinning India top-scorer Punam Raut lbw for 86, the first of five wickets she would take for 11 runs as England sealed a thrilling nine-run win. Later, when Shrubsole herself joined the Watchalong, Knight revealed how close she came to making what might have proved a very costly decision.

“My plan Anya was to actually take you off after a couple of overs, and maybe even that first one after you got hit for two fours,” Knight said.

“After the first two balls go, ‘Ah this is rubbish, get her off’,” Shrubsole said.

“Yeah, but I kept you on, you looked like you were in a bit of rhythm,” Knight said. “I just gave you the ball and let you crack on!”

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