Eoin Morgan-led side scripted history and clinched the World Cup trophy for the first time since the inception of the mega-event. An elated England crowd was jumping with joy, celebrating the historic moment at Lord’s on 14 July 2019. Little did anyone know about the impressive trail of England Women– who have been one of the most successful teams in women’s cricket, having won the coveted trophy four times so far.
After clinching the inaugural World Cup trophy in 1973, England Women repeated the feat and doubled their tally by lifting the trophy again on 1st August 1993. It was the fifth edition of the mega-event, which came four years after the preceding 1988 World Cup, where Australia had emerged as the champions. England had won the inaugural 1973 World Cup trophy on their own soil; and with England hosting the tournament after a gap of 20 years, all eyes were on ‘Poms’ to double their tally and clinch the silverware yet again.
England, led by Karen Smith, had an impressive start as they steamrolled Denmark in their opening fixture. The hosts clinched a dominant 239-run victory after curbing Denmark to a meagre 47-run total. However, the taste of victory didn’t linger for too long as England suffered a 25-run defeat in the subsequent match against New Zealand. The White Ferns, after amassing 127 runs on the board, were successful in restricting England to 102.
Post the setback, England eventually hit the purple patch and registered a flurry of victories to finish second in the points table. They amassed six victories from seven matches and finished with 24 points, behind New Zealand in the table.
The Day when history was scripted
1 August 1993– the day finally arrived when the table-toppers, New Zealand and England, battled it out in pursuit of honour and prestige at the Lord’s. The final was attended by 4,500 spectators, including the then UK Prime Minister John Major. One talking point ahead of the captivating final was the contrasting performance of England men’s side, who had lost the Ashes just a week ago. All eyes were now on the England Women to bask in glory.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, England Women amassed 195 runs on the board with the loss of five wickets. Opener Janette Brittin’s gritty 48-run inning laid the foundation as Carole Hodges also kept shuffling the scoreboard by gathering 45 runs off 119 deliveries. After the top-order’s departure, cameos from Jo Chamberlain (38), Barbara Daniels (21) and skipper Karen Smithies (10) ensured that England posted a challenging total on the scoreboard.
In response, New Zealand, after amassing a half-century stand in the first 20 overs, collapsed like a pack of cards as England Women’s bowling force cleaned them up. The Kiwi women only managed to score 128 as Gill Smith, Suzanne Kitson and Clare Taylor dismantled them by scalping 3, 2, and 2 wickets respectively.
What followed was the Lord’s erupting with spectators as they flooded the pitch to watch England Women lift the trophy and shed tears of joy. Chamberlain, for her quick-fire 38, was adjudged Player of the Match. She even got a standing ovation from the MCC members as she left the pitch. Karen Smithies and her troops got an unprecedented response as the newspapers on the following day were flooded with their faces on the front and back. It was a tournament to remember for all English fans as well as players.
The trio of Jan Brittin, Carole Hodges and Helen Plimmer flaunted dominance after clinching the top three spots in the ‘Most runs’ table. Brittin (410), Hodges (334) and Plimmer (242) were the chief architects behind their side’s successful campaign. Skipper Smithies was the one who dazzled with the ball as she scalped 15 wickets in the mega-event (joint top wicket-taker) with best figures of 3/6. The legacy continued with time as England Women eventually added another two World Cups– 2009 and 2017– in their vitrine.