Time: April 3, 6:30 AM IST
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
There have been three scores above 270 runs in four games at Hagley Oval. While scoring runs have not been much of a challenge, spinners have taken the centre stage.
Ellyse Perry’s availability for the all-important final is still uncertain. She missed the semi-final against West Indies due to a back injury, and although she joined the net session on Friday, she did not bat or ball.
Probable XI for Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland, Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
Probable XI for England: Tammy Beaumont, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Charlotte Dean, Anya Shrubsole
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Rachael Haynes was the Player of the Match in the league game between these teams. She scored her maiden hundred against England. In this edition, she is the second-highest run-scorer: 429 runs at 61.
For England, Natalie Sciver has scored the majority of the runs. In the same game that Haynes thrashed England, Sciver scored 109* off 85. For that matter, she has maintained good numbers against Australia: 579 runs and 15 wickets in 19 games.
Amongst contemporary cricketers, Meg Lanning is the highest run-scorer between Australia and England. In the tournament, she has been on and off, either scoring big or going back without disturbing the scoreboard. She has top scores of 135* and 97 and two ducks to her name.
With 20 wickets at 12.8, Sophie Ecclestone is the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. Her last four bowling figures read 3/41, 3/18, 3/15, and 6/36.
Danielle Wyatt scored a timely hundred and will go into the final brimming with confidence. Her 129 off 125 was an innings of substance, against a quality bowling of South Africa and amidst a regular fall of wickets.
The spin trio of Jess Jonassen, Ashleigh Gardner, and Alana King have taken 29 wickets between them. To put things into perspective, the spinners have a superior strike rate than the pacers in this World Cup.
Charlie Dean has trapped the best of the batters with her wily off-spin. Her 11 wickets have come at a strike rate of 24. It would not be a bad idea to pick five spinners in your fantasy team if they have consistently been popular picks.
Alyssa Healy has played only three big innings (72, 72, and 129) and yet she is the fourth-highest run-scorer. England will have to smother her with good deliveries before she decides to go all guns blazing.
Australia have won 12 of 16 games against England in the World Cup. Moreover, they have been unbeaten throughout the edition as compared to England’s three defeats in the league stages. The overall numbers and recent form make Australia favourites, but one bad day can erase the hard work of the entire tournament. England, after all, are the defending champions.