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 3-24.
England’s reply was woeful to start with as they crumbled to 39-6, 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.
“We’re disappointed to get so close, but that’s cricket and we’ve got to come back stronger,” said Edwards. “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. She had claimed 4-21 against the West Indies in England’s last group game and followed that up with three top-order scalps as Australia slumped to 32-5.
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.