it’s indeed an irony that despite having won 10 of the previous 11 World Cups between them, the two sides will face off in the title round for the first time in 34 years.
Australia have won six World Cups, while England have bagged four, and the two teams have a lot at stake, given that the Meg Lanning-led side would be in search of a record-extending seventh title, while England will look to defend their crown they won in 2017 at Lord’s, defeating India.
Australia have lost only one World Cup final. Back in 2000, at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, hosts New Zealand defeated Australia by just four runs in one of the closest final encounters the tournament has ever seen.
That year, England recorded their worst-ever World Cup finish of fifth before fighting back to take the trophy from Australia in 2009. That same year, England also claimed their first, and only, T20 World Cup as well as an Ashes victory.
It is something that Australia are hoping to match 13 years later, as they already hold the T20 trophy having secured that on home soil in 2020 before the Ashes were sealed with two games to spare in February, but the one-day World Cup evades them.
Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes already has a winner’s medal from 2013, and she is well on her way to a competition record — the opening batter sits on 429 runs for the tournament, 27 behind Debbie Hockley of New Zealand’s all-time best set in 1997.
That is not the only record that could be broken in the final. England cricketer Sophie Ecclestone has the chance to surpass Australian Lyn Fullston, whose haul of 23 wickets in 1982 remains the mark to beat.
Ecclestone sits on 20 wickets having taken her maiden international five-wicket haul in the semifinal against South Africa ending on s6/36, the best figures by an England bowler in a World Cup.
The left-arm spinner is emblematic of England’s journey in the World Cup, where she and her team didn’t quite make an impact at the start but have peaked at exactly the right time. The 22-year-old started with her worst-ever figures in ODIs with none for 77 against Australia in the group stage, while England were on the verge of elimination after losing three games.
Australia Women Squad: Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy(w), Meg Lanning(c), Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown, Ellyse Perry, Grace Harris, Nicola Carey, Amanda Wellington
England Women Squad: Tammy Beaumont, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight(c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Jones(w), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Charlotte Dean, Anya Shrubsole, Natasha Farrant, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Emma Lamb, Freya Davies