England women's defence of their fifty-over World Cup took another blow as they fell to a two-run defeat at the hands of Australia in Mumbai.

The unbeaten Australian's made a substandard total of 147 after losing the toss and being put into bat, falling to 32 for 5 before Lisa Sthalekar (41) and Sarah Coyte (44) put on 82 for the sixth wicket as Anya Shrubsole continued her impressive tournament with the ball with 3-24.

But in reply the holders themselves slumped to 39 for 6; however Laura Greenway (49) and Laura Marsh (22) gave England hope, helping put on 57 for the seventh wicket.

Needing 36 for the final 10 overs with three wickets in hand, the dismissal of Greenway and Katherine Brunt (2) swung the contest back in Australia's favour, prior to Holly Colvin and Sthaleker putting England within three runs over victory, before the former flayed at a wide one from Erin Osbourne, which captain Jodie Fields took smartly.

Charlotte Edwards
Edwards bemoaned a series of poor decisions against England.

Captain Charlotte Edwards (8), who was given out controversially for lbw said: "We've got to come back strongly.

"It was an important toss and we exploited the conditions well and the reasons we lost this game was poor shot selection and a couple of decisions went against us. We have depth in our order. Holly played really well. Hopefully we can win the last two."

Opposite number Fields praised the work of bowler Holy Ferling, who took three early scalps: "We hung in there and never gave up. Little Holly (Ferling) is not that little, great to see her bowling well.

"We really enjoyed playing in Cuttack. Just goes to show you can win if you bowl the ball in the right areas."

Sthalekar claimed the player of the match award after her startling 41 from 59 balls and figures of 1-19, which included the vital wicket of Brunt.

"I am glad my experience comes handy," the 33 year old said. "I was fortunate to have a good partnership with Sarah. I thought it was a decent batting wicket. I found the pitch quite nice."