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June 18, 2009
Match factsThursday June 19
Big PictureSeven of the men's World Twenty20 matches have been played at Lord's and so will the final. But for the women, whose league games were tucked away in Taunton, the final is the sole chance of appearing at the most revered of all cricket grounds. Factors taken for granted in men's cricket - Lord's, crowds, media coverage - are rarities in the women's game.
Australia and England know this well and also know that success spells rewards, though probably not involving open-top bus parades and franchise-based leagues. Consistent performances from these two sides have prompted their already progressive boards to fast-track contracts and better facilities. So what more could an appearance at Lord's do? A chance to prove that hiding them in Taunton was not a good idea and that women's Twenty20s can be just as entertaining as men's.
Australia, who came fourth in the 50-over World Cup at home three months ago, will be eager to make amends and re-establish themselves as the No. 1 side. But an in-form England, who are unbeaten in this tournament, won't be easy to overhaul. The two sides will be squaring off in a bi-lateral series soon after the World Twenty20 and the one who wins this semi-final will hold the edge then.
Form guide(last five completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for...
Holly Colvin: The England left-arm spinner is the tournament's leading wicket-taker with eight from three games.
Shelley Nitschke: The 32-year old Australian allrounder, who had a successful 50-over World Cup, is her side's leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in this tournament and expect a crucial performance from her. However in her two games against England, she has taken only two wickets and scored 14 runs.
England are likely to go with the XI that beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
1 Sarah Taylor (wk), 2 Claire Taylor, 3 Charlotte Edwards (capt), 4 Beth Morgan, 5 Lydia Greenway, 6 Jenny Gunn, 7 Caroline Atkins, 8 Nicki Shaw, 9 Holly Colvin, 10 Laura Marsh, 11 Isa Guha.
Australia are also likely to go with the same side that beat South Africa though their bowlers allowed South Africa to score 140. Rene Farrell should keep her place, despite going wicketless for 34 runs in that game, since she's a useful bat.
1 Leah Poulton, 2 Shelley Nitschke, 3 Lisa Sthalekar, 4 Karen Rolton (capt), 5 Jodie Fields (wk), 6 Lauren Ebsary, 7 Alex Blackwell, 8 Rene Farrell, 9 Ellyse Perry, 10 Kirsten Pike, 11 Sarah Andrews.
Stats and Trivia
"It's going to be a tough game, playing England in front of their home crowd but with the England's men team out it might be more pressure on the women."
Karen Rolton, the Australian captain, feels the teams are evenly balanced in terms of expectations.
"Two were warm-ups and one was an international which didn't really mean anything. We're on home soil and we're confident we can do well against them."
The England captain Charlotte Edwards plays down the significance of recent defeats to Australia.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?