What has been a disappointing tournament for England finished with their winning the third place play-off (despite there not being a semi-final) on Friday and today the tournament itself concluded with Australia beating the West Indies in the final after the latter were bowled out well short of their target of 260.
It cannot be said that the best side did not win; Australia paced themselves well and the only match they lost was the dead rubber in the last round of the Super Sixes. The fact that they were able to shrug off the loss of Ellyse Perry was astounding and the only real wobble they had was against England in a match they subsequently won anyway. They now hold the ‘Triple Crown’ of the Ashes, the fifty-over World Cup and the T20 World Cup at least until the one-off Test in England later this summer.
England played well in spells during the tournament, but always seemed to be a little bit off the boil. Both of their losses were very narrow defeats (off the last ball against Sri Lanka and by two runs to Australia), but even in the matches they won it often seemed to be on the back of very good spells and in spite of periods of mediocrity. The biggest example of that was the bowling; they instigated early collapses several times in the tournament, but only once did they convert that into a properly low score. They let each of India, the West Indies and Australia off the hook and it cost them dearly against the Aussies.
The format was a very poor one and it certainly did not help England, but ultimately they have only themselves to blame for missing the chance to defend their title. As much as there should have been at least a semi-final round, England ought to have beat Sri Lanka in the first match and then ought to have beat Australia in the Super Sixes to make it to the final anyway. As it was, they were left hoping Australia did them a favour and it was not forthcoming. England simply did not play like a Champion side in the tournament and I think they can have no complaints about the finish.