England Women's captain Charlotte Edwards admitted poor shots were to blame for her team's demise as they suffered a painful two-run defeat to Australia in their opening World Cup Super Six match.
- Related Content
In a low-scoring encounter at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, England looked to have put themselves in pole position when they skittled out their opponents for just 147, Anya Shrubsole doing much of the damage with three for 24.
England's reply was woeful to start with as they crumbled to 39 for six, but a battling 49 from Lydia Greenway helped get them back on track before late fireworks from Holly Colvin and Shrubsole set up an exciting finish.
However, Colvin's dismissal eventually handed the honours to Australia and Edwards admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow.
"We're disappointed to get so close, but that's cricket and we've got to come back stronger," she said in the post-match presentation.
"It was an important toss and I think we exploited the conditions well, and Anya bowled brilliantly up front.
"The reason we've lost this game is because of poor shots and a couple of bad decisions which have really cost us.
"We've got strength in depth in our order and we still believed we could win towards the end, and Holly played fantastically well.
"We're disappointed now but with this competition you've got to forget about it and move on to the next game, and hopefully we can win the last two."
Shrubsole had led England's attack marvellously after Australia were sent in to bat.
The Somerset player claimed career-best one-day international figures of four for 21 against West Indies in England's last group game and followed that up with three top-order scalps as Australia slumped to 32 for five.
A sixth-wicket partnership of 82 between Lisa Sthalekar (41) and Sarah Coyte (44) boosted Australia's total, but Arran Brindle and Colvin took two wickets apiece to help see off the lower order.
Despite having the wind in their sails, England's reply looked precarious when they slumped to 39 for six.
Edwards was the first wicket to fall for eight to a debatable lbw decision and Sarah Taylor followed just seven balls later, edging to first slip.
Opener Danielle Wyatt contributed 16 before nicking to wicket-keeper and captain Jodie Fields, while Brindle and Heather Knight barely registered as the score became 38 for five.
It got even worse when Jenny Gunn went for a duck, although there was little she could do with her middle stumped ripped out by a superb delivery from teenager Holly Ferling, who finished with three wickets in the match.
Greenway and Laura Marsh then joined forces with a hard-fought seventh-wicket stand which resulted in a fifty partnership from 136 balls.
The stand was broken when another questionable lbw decision saw Marsh walk for 22, but Greenway continued to edge towards a half-century until she threw away her wicket one run short by driving a Ferling delivery to Sthalekar at short cover.
When Katherine Brunt quickly followed, the writing looked on the wall for England but Australia had not reckoned on a defiant last-wicket stand between Colvin and Shrubsole.
Colvin's impact was immediate with three fours off the first four balls she faced, while Shrubsole added two more boundaries as the tailenders set Australian nerves jangling.
Indeed, England were within touching distance of the winning total but luck went Australia's way when Colvin succumbed on 16, edging the ball behind to Fields.
Meanwhile, New Zealand recovered from their loss to Australia by recording an emphatic eight-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the day's other match.