Infotainment Factory: How Australia plans to topple England in WT20 final

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Saturday, 24 November 2018

How Australia plans to topple England in WT20 final


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Three titles in five attempts. It’s the numbers that have defined Australia’s success at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament and on Sunday the Southern Stars will be hoping to add another to the tally as they clash with England over the 2018 crown.

It’s been a fruitful series for skipper Meg Lanning’s troops. Boasting only a single loss to India, Australia have set about their 2018 campaign with a marked professionalism and hunger to win. Inspired by the passion of wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, Australia’s women have built on this year’s red-hot form as they sit just one win away from the championship. Entering the competition off the back of 16 straight wins across all formats since late March and having suffered just one loss, it’s been a dream year for Australia’s women. On Sunday they will look to punctuate it all with victory over England.

It’s a story that sits in stark contrast with their male counterparts, who have struggled through one of the most turbulent times in the sport’s history as new coach Justin Langer looks to rebuild his squad ahead of the Australian summer.

Despite England’s women failing to tread the smoothest path on their way to the Women’s World Twenty20 final, Australian cricket legend Ian Healy expects a heated encounter as one of the oldest rivalries in sporting history adds another chapter to its chronicles.



“It's one of the strongest rivalries we've got in cricket and England have got a good recent record against Australia, so they'll back themselves,” Healy exclusively told Wide World of Sports.

“But Australia have got wonderful form, they've built and improved their team since last time they played England and they'll be difficult to beat."

Healy commended Australia for the calculated and unselfish semi-final victory over the West Indies on a wicket that failed to produce the trademark showmanship T20 is known for. He believes their impressive lead-up provides the Aussies with an edge in Sunday’s final.

“It was really good preparation. By all reports the pitch that they'll play on for the final on Sunday will be more bare, it will have less grass, so it will bounce through a bit quicker,” Healy said.

“The fact that the top order had to rein it in a bit in the semi-final and hit the ball along the ground rather than go for boundaries like they usually do - fours sixes being the focus - they did well to put their egos aside and think, 'Well 130 will be a good score', rather than pushing to a 150 score.



“As it turned out they got to 140 because Rachael Haynes did really well to get 25 off 15.

“They all had to bat and they all had to be thinking, which is great experience. And then the bowlers combined beautifully. Every bowler created some trouble for the opposition. So it was a great preparatory run.”

It's those performances where Australia’s Alyssa Healy has risen to the occasion time again. An opening batter and a dogged wicketkeeper, Healy has had a dream campaign in the West Indies as the stage looks set for her 2018 curtain call.

“A match winning 60 or 70 in the final would be the icing on the cake of what's been an outstanding tournament,” Healy said of his niece.

“I think she's got four out of five Player of the Match awards so far, which is outstanding.”

Despite her dominance, Healy warned that the Aussies must not get too comfortable in their ability to score with England’s roster boasting a host of threatening bowlers that have can undo their star keeper’s at times risky play at the crease.



“Australia can't rely on that sort of strokeplay to come off so often. She takes risks at the top of the order and they've all been working beautifully but there could be some that don't come off,” Healy warned.

“They've certainly got the bowlers to back them to take those sort of risks at the top of the order and still build to a competitive total if they don't come off. Their versatility is the best in the world, the best at this tournament, so they can win even if the top order doesn't work.”

Healy believes Anya Shrubhole is the main threat to Australia’s top order. The medium pacer has the ability to rattle Lanning’s troops with her dangerous inswing.

“We haven't used great tactics against her in the past and she can get a bit of a wriggle on through your order, she has a habit of getting two or three wickets quickly,” he said.

“I think we've got to go with her inswing, not against it. We back away and try to hit through covers against her. I think she's the one, if we can control what we do against her and give her nothing that will go a long way.”

Sunday’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final will be held at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, in Antigua. Fans wishing to watch all the action can tune into the match live on 9Gem from 10:30am (AEDT).

Three titles in five attempts. It’s the numbers that have defined Australia’s success at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament and on Sunday the Southern Stars will be hoping to add another to the tally as they clash with England over the 2018 crown.

It’s been a fruitful series for skipper Meg Lanning’s troops. Boasting only a single loss to India, Australia have set about their 2018 campaign with a marked professionalism and hunger to win. Inspired by the passion of wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, Australia’s women have built on this year’s red-hot form as they sit just one win away from the championship. Entering the competition off the back of 16 straight wins across all formats since late March and having suffered just one loss, it’s been a dream year for Australia’s women. On Sunday they will look to punctuate it all with victory over England.

It’s a story that sits in stark contrast with their male counterparts, who have struggled through one of the most turbulent times in the sport’s history as new coach Justin Langer looks to rebuild his squad ahead of the Australian summer.

Despite England’s women failing to tread the smoothest path on their way to the Women’s World Twenty20 final, Australian cricket legend Ian Healy expects a heated encounter as one of the oldest rivalries in sporting history adds another chapter to its chronicles.



“It's one of the strongest rivalries we've got in cricket and England have got a good recent record against Australia, so they'll back themselves,” Healy exclusively told Wide World of Sports.

“But Australia have got wonderful form, they've built and improved their team since last time they played England and they'll be difficult to beat."

Healy commended Australia for the calculated and unselfish semi-final victory over the West Indies on a wicket that failed to produce the trademark showmanship T20 is known for. He believes their impressive lead-up provides the Aussies with an edge in Sunday’s final.

“It was really good preparation. By all reports the pitch that they'll play on for the final on Sunday will be more bare, it will have less grass, so it will bounce through a bit quicker,” Healy said.

“The fact that the top order had to rein it in a bit in the semi-final and hit the ball along the ground rather than go for boundaries like they usually do - fours sixes being the focus - they did well to put their egos aside and think, 'Well 130 will be a good score', rather than pushing to a 150 score.



“As it turned out they got to 140 because Rachael Haynes did really well to get 25 off 15.

“They all had to bat and they all had to be thinking, which is great experience. And then the bowlers combined beautifully. Every bowler created some trouble for the opposition. So it was a great preparatory run.”

It's those performances where Australia’s Alyssa Healy has risen to the occasion time again. An opening batter and a dogged wicketkeeper, Healy has had a dream campaign in the West Indies as the stage looks set for her 2018 curtain call.

“A match winning 60 or 70 in the final would be the icing on the cake of what's been an outstanding tournament,” Healy said of his niece.

“I think she's got four out of five Player of the Match awards so far, which is outstanding.”

Despite her dominance, Healy warned that the Aussies must not get too comfortable in their ability to score with England’s roster boasting a host of threatening bowlers that have can undo their star keeper’s at times risky play at the crease.



“Australia can't rely on that sort of strokeplay to come off so often. She takes risks at the top of the order and they've all been working beautifully but there could be some that don't come off,” Healy warned.

“They've certainly got the bowlers to back them to take those sort of risks at the top of the order and still build to a competitive total if they don't come off. Their versatility is the best in the world, the best at this tournament, so they can win even if the top order doesn't work.”

Healy believes Anya Shrubhole is the main threat to Australia’s top order. The medium pacer has the ability to rattle Lanning’s troops with her dangerous inswing.

“We haven't used great tactics against her in the past and she can get a bit of a wriggle on through your order, she has a habit of getting two or three wickets quickly,” he said.

“I think we've got to go with her inswing, not against it. We back away and try to hit through covers against her. I think she's the one, if we can control what we do against her and give her nothing that will go a long way.”

Sunday’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final will be held at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, in Antigua. Fans wishing to watch all the action can tune into the match live on 9Gem from 10:30am (AEDT).

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