Old rivals Australia and England brace for 'fierce' ICC Women T20 final

By November 23, 2018

Old rivals Australia and England are set to clash in the final of the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua on Saturday.

Meg Lanning, captain of three-time winners Australia, believe a fourth crown is on the cards.

“I'm just really excited to be playing in a World Cup semi and now a final,” said Lanning whose team defeated 2016 champions Windies by 71 runs at North Sound on Thursday.

“This is why you play the game. You want to be involved in games like this. We've spoken a lot as a group about enjoying our cricket and really having a smile on our face and just embracing the opportunity that we've gotten. We wanted to do that again yesterday (Thursday), and that's what we'll be doing in the final as well.”

Lanning who has scored 87 runs so far in the tournament is hoping to come good in Saturday’s final.

“I didn't feel great batting out there in the middle last (Thursday) night, sort of scratching around a little bit,” said the veteran captain who scored a 39-ball 31 in Australia’s match-winning 142 for 5. “But I guess it was a good partnership there with Midge (Alyssa Healy) to get us to a pretty competitive total there. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. It was nice to spend some time out in the middle yesterday. But (I’m) looking to improve on that tomorrow.”

She said her team is not taking anything for granted as they prepare to face long-time rivals England.

“I thought we played well (in the semi-final). But at the same time, we were very, very clear that we had one more step to go. We've given ourselves the chance, I guess, but we need to make sure we get the job done tomorrow night.”

Captain Heather Knight is of a similar mindset but believes the rivalry between the 2009 champions and Australia will bring the best out of her team.

“I think you can't really ignore that it's the old enemy, can you? 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,” she said.

“We had the Ashes series we drew out in Australia and a really good T20 series out there for us, where we won 2-1, and the game to finish off the series was a real thriller. So all history suggests it's going to be a really good game, really tight game.”

She was still basking in the euphoria of beating one of the pre-tournament favourites India with her relatively inexperienced squad in Thursday’s semi-final.

“It's a real achievement, I think especially (considering) the inexperience we've brought to this tournament, and the girls are massively excited,” she said.

“It's probably not been the smoothest ride to get to the final, but the main thing is we're here and we've got another opportunity to have a shot at winning a global trophy again and what an achievement it would be, how special it would be, if we could be double white-ball champions.”

We look back at 2009, and that's a quality team in the history of women's cricket, and we spoke about that team, some of the girls were obviously involved in that, and we talked about emulating them, about the opportunity to do that. It doesn't come around very often, and I guess as a team it's our chance to really cement ourselves in history as a brilliant white-ball (all-) format team.”

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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