New Zealand v Australia, Women's World Twenty20 final, Barbados

Teams battle for their first Twenty20 trophy

The Preview by Nishi Narayanan

May 15, 2010

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Match facts

Sunday, May 16, Barbados
Start time 1600 (2000 GMT)


Shelley Nitschke helped to add 74 for the second wicket with Alex Blackwell,  Australia Women v India Women, ICC Women's World Twenty20, 1st Semi-Final, St Lucia, May 13, 2010
New Zealand must get past Shelley Nitschke, the opener and spinner, if they are to succeed in Barbados © Getty Images
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The Big Picture

It's been ten years since the New Zealand women pipped Australia to the post with a four-run win to get their first world title. The players have changed and so has the venue. But the Trans-Tasman rivalry hasn't.

They may not admit it, but the two teams will be at least slightly relieved that England were eliminated early in the competition by West Indies. New Zealand reached the finals of the previous two world tournaments - the 50-over World Cup in Australia and the World Twenty20 in England in 2009 - only to be comprehensively beaten by England. Australia's previous final appearance was in 2005 when they beat India to win the World Cup in Centurion.

The back-to-back world titles got England a lot of positive attention from the media, the fans and the board. The two finalists who meet in Barbados after the men's final will hope for some of the same back home. Australian players were handed national contracts in 2008 but New Zealand Cricket is yet to offer the same to its players. Perhaps three consecutive final appearances will be the clincher.

Form guide (Most recent first)

Australia WWWT*L

New Zealand WWWWW

Watch out for

Aimee Watkins, the New Zealand captain, is an attacking and experienced opening batsman as well as a handy offspinner. She took 3 for 26 in the semi-final against West Indies.

Allrounder Shelley Nitschke has been Australia's star player for the last two years. She has made 88 and taken four wickets in four games of the World Twenty20 so far.

Left-arm quick Sian Ruck didn't play the semi-final but since the Kensington Oval wicket is expected to be seamer-friendly, New Zealand may pick the bowler who had a lot of success in the previous tournament in England.

Stats

  • Sara McGlashan is the tournament's leading run-scorer, with 146 at a strike-rate of 137.73 from four matches. The best Australian figures are Leah Poulton's - 107 at 116.30 from four games.
  • Quotes

    "Number two doesn't sit too well with us after two second places last year so we are definitely looking to go one better."
    Aimee Watkins, the New Zealand captain, eyes the trophy after twice ending as runners-up.

    "It would be a first, I think, to have teams from the same country winning both the men's and women's titles. We are going to give it a red-hot go in the final."
    Australian captain Alex Blackwell relishes the thought of a World Cup double.

    * Australia tied their first game of the World Twenty20 with England and won the match after the Super Over Eliminator.

    Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Posted by popcorn on (May 16, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

    New Zealand had better watch out for Lisa Sthalekar.

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    Nishi NarayananClose
    Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.
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