Women’s World T20 final: Old rivals Australia meet England with eye on title
Meg Lanning's Australia are eying their fourth WT20 title, England their second. (Image: ICC)

For the fifth edition in a row, Meg Lanning’s Australia Women are in the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20. The Southern Stars are eying a fourth World T20 title, and out to stop them at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Sunday are England Women, who stormed to the summit by hammering a strong Indian team with ease.

Two in-form teams – Australia ranked No 1 in Women’s T20Is, England at No 2 and also the reigning one-day World Cup champions – is the clash the tournament needs because that’s what finals are supposed to do: pit the two best teams together.

ALSO READ: Heather Knight hails England spinners for putting India in a twist

At Eden Gardens in 2016, Australia were beaten by West Indies Women who claimed the trophy. Australia knocked out the defending champions on Friday in a clinical performance, highlighted by excellent bowling and fielding and a fourth Player-of-the-Match award from the in-form wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. They are the team to beat, and Heather Knight’s England will be out to do just that.

ALSO READ: Australia were “so ready” for semi-finals, says Meg Lanning

England are bidding to become the team of 2000 that claimed the 50-over and 20-over titles that year, and having overcome some hurdles to make Sunday’s final, Knight is confident of her team becoming double white-ball champions.

These two teams have a rivalry, as you expect given its England vs Australia. Australia beat England in the 2012 and 2014 World T20 finals and in 2016 eliminated them from the semi-final stage. Australia beat England in the final of a T20I triangular in Mumbai March, and before that it was Knight’s team that won 2-1 in 2017.

“I think you can’t really ignore that it’s the old enemy, can you?” said Knight before the final.

Date: November 24

Venue: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

Time: 05:30 IST

Weather: Sunny with a high of 28 degrees

Team News

Australia 

Lanning’s team has no injury concerns, and with Healy slotting back after recovering from concussion to drive Australia into the final, they have a great boost. No changes expected.

Alyssa Healy has four Player-of-the-Match awards in a row
Alyssa Healy has four Player-of-the-Match awards in a row. (Image: ICC)

Probable XI: 1 Beth Mooney, 2 Alyssa Healy (wk), 3 Meg Lanning (caps), 4 Ashleigh Gardner, 5 Elyse Villani, 6 Rachel Haynes, 7 Ellyse Perry, 8 Sophie Molineux, 9 Delissa Kimmence, 10 Georgia Wareham, 11 Meghan Schutt

England 

The openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont have struggled all tournament and in the semi-final against India made 8 and 1 respectively. Wyatt has scores of 0, 27, 1 and 8 in the tournament and Beaumont 2, 24, 23 and 1 but Knight has backed them to click on Sunday.

Probable XI: 1 Danielle Wyatt, 2 Tammy Beaumont, 3 Amy Jones (wk), 4 Natalie Sciver, 5 Heather Knight (cast), 6 Lauren Winfield, 7 Anya Shrubsole, 8 Sophia Dunkley, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Danielle Hazell, 11 Kirstie Gordon

The road to the final (most recent first)

Australia: WLWWW

England: WLWWNR

Women’s World T20 titles

Australia 3

England 1

Statistics

- Healy is the leading run-getter of the World T20 with 203 at 67.66 and has been named Player of the Match on four straight occasions. She made 53 from 38 balls against New Zealand, 48 off 29 versus Pakistan, a record fastest World T20 fifty against Ireland, and 46 from 38 balls in the semi-final.

Kirstie Gordon is the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
Kirstie Gordon is the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament. (Image: ICC)

- Scotland-born Kirstie Gordon is the tournament’s second-highest run-getter, taking eight wickets at 8.50 apiece with her left-arm spin.

- Ellyse Perry has 99 T20I wickets and one more will make her the second female cricketer to 100 after West Indies’ Anisa Mohammed.

Head-to-Head

Australia and England have met 31 times in T20Is, with England holding the advantage. They have won 17 and Australia 13 with one match ending in a tie. Limited to the World T20, Australia have a 3-2-1 record against England.

Quotes

“We came here to play off in this final. We’ve given ourselves the opportunity now to win, and coming up against England, always great games. We know it’s going to be extremely tough.” – Meg Lanning

“It’s probably the two best teams in the world historically over the last few years, and we’ve had some amazing games of cricket recently.” – Heather Knight