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Stats Analysis

Women's World Cup stats - Australia's overall dominance vs England's hot streak

Australia's batters are way ahead but England have outbowled them, and have the advantage of match-time at Hagley Oval

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Alyssa Healy brings up her century, Australia vs West Indies, 1st semi-final, 2022 Women's ODI World Cup, Wellington, March 30, 2022

Australia are the leaders - and favourites - this tournament on many parameters  •  ICC via Getty Images

Australia have had a spotless World Cup campaign so far, winning eight out of eight. They have beaten England - their opponent in the final - in their last seven ODIs; their last defeat to England in this format was way back in October 2017. They have also won 37 of their last 38 ODIs, dating back to the start of 2018.
Despite all of those numbers which point towards Australia being overwhelming favourites for the final on Sunday, England, the defending champions, will feel they have a fair shot at retaining the title. In their opening game of the tournament, against Australia, England almost pulled off a chase of 311, finishing only 13 short. But more importantly, they have been on a roll in the last couple of weeks, winning five in a row.
Two of those wins were against the relatively weaker Bangladesh and Pakistan, but England also beat India with 112 balls to spare, and South Africa by 137 runs in the semi-final on Thursday. All of that points to a team which is peaking nicely for the big day.
Australia, though, will carry the confidence of a perfect campaign. Their batting average of 55.79 runs per wicket is almost twice that of England's 30.26, while the run rate of 5.62 is also well clear of England's 4.99. Of the 14 totals of 260 or more in the tournament, Australia have contributed five, while three of the top four run-getters in the tournament are Australians. England's highest run-scorer, Nat Sciver, is at No. 8 among the top run-scorers.
Where England have shone, however, is in their bowling: they restricted India to 134 and South Africa to 156 in the semi-final; both those teams scored over 270 against Australia. In their last five matches, England have averaged an astonishing 14.64 runs per wicket, and conceded only 3.44 runs per over. In terms of the ratio between run rate and economy rate, Australia's overall number is slightly ahead of England's, but in the last five matches England have achieved an excellent ratio of 1.43.
Australia's powerplay dominance
Australia have taken 13 wickets in the powerplays and lost just seven, and are averaging more than 48 runs per wicket with the bat while conceding fewer than 24 per wicket with the ball. Those are terrific numbers, and have allowed them to take the initiative early in most matches. They have twice scored more than 50 in the first 10 overs - against Pakistan and India - but the only time they conceded 50-plus was against England, who scored 53 for 1 when chasing 311.
England, on the other hand, have lost 12 wickets in the powerplays and taken just nine, but they have an excellent economy rate of 3.84.
Smooth starts for Australia, but problems for England
In eight opening stands, Rachael Haynes and Alyssa Healy have strung together 511 partnership runs, at an average of 63.87 and a run rate of 5.6 per over. Their partnership aggregate is almost twice as many as the next-best team: West Indies have added 261 runs for the opening wicket in seven innings.
In stark contrast, England's opening pairs (Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield-Hill, and Beaumont and Danni Wyatt) have a grand total of 100 runs from eight partnerships, at an average of 12.5 per partnership, and 3.72 runs per over. It's the lowest aggregate among all teams - 79 lower than the next-worst, New Zealand - while the run rate is poorer than all teams except Bangladesh and Pakistan.
England are the only team in the tournament with no half-century stands for the first wicket - their highest is 31, against West Indies, which is the only time they exceeded 20 - while Australia are the only team with two century stands, including a mammoth 216-run partnership in just 32.4 overs against West Indies in the semi-final.
The pace and spin comparison
Neither Australia nor England have set the tournament on fire with their quick bowlers. Compared to South Africa, whose fast bowlers took 47 wickets, and New Zealand (31 wickets for pace), Australia's seamers have contributed only 26 wickets, and England's, 23.
However, the slow bowlers for both teams have been top-notch. England have two spinners among the top six wicket-takers in the tournament - Sophie Ecclestone, the left-armer, leads the tally with 20 wickets, while Charlie Dean, the offspinner, is joint-fifth with 11. Ecclestone's turnaround has been especially remarkable: she started with a shocker, conceding 77 in 10 overs against Australia, but has since been impeccable, taking 20 wickets at 12.85, including 6 for 36 in the semi-final win against South Africa. Dean has featured in four of England's five wins, and averages 14.90 at an economy rate of 3.78.
Australia's top spinner has been the left-armer Jess Jonassen, with 10 wickets at 18.80 and an economy rate of 3.62, while Ashleigh Gardner and Alana King have nine each. England and Australia are the two teams with the best spin numbers in terms of wickets, average and economy rate.
A game of chances
Haynes has the second-highest aggregate in the tournament with 429 runs, but she has had her share of good fortune, being reprieved six times, the joint-highest for any batter according to ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball logs. Those six reprieves includes two in the first game against England, when she scored 130.
In all, Australia's batters have benefited from 19 dropped catches, the most among all teams. England are fifth in this list with 11 reprieves, with Wyatt accounting for five of them. In the field, England have been guilty of 17 reprieves, compared with just nine by Australia. In a high-stakes game where both teams will be under pressure, errors in the field could well decide which way the game turns.
The venue advantage
England have the edge here, having played twice in the last 10 days at the Hagley Oval - the venue for the final - and having won both games by convincing margins: they batted second and beat Pakistan by nine wickets, and batted first and thrashed South Africa by 137 runs in the semi-final. Overall, England have a perfect 3-0 record here, while Australia only have a 1-1 record in two games, and haven't played here since December 2000.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats