England v Australia, ICC Women's World Twenty20, 2nd semi-final, The Oval June 18, 2009

Old rivals fight for a place at Lord's

Match facts

Thursday June 19
Start time 1300 local (1200 GMT)

Big Picture

Seven 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)

Australia WWLWW

England WWWWW

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.

Team news

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

  • Charlotte Edwards is the highest run-getter in Twenty20 internationals, scoring 471 runs in 13 matches at 52.33. She's done well in this tournament as well, making 105 in three games at 52.50. Australia batsman Karen Rolton is fourth in the list of the top run-getters in Twenty20 internationals, with 324 at 46.28. She averages 24.50 in three matches in this competition.
  • Left-arm spinner Holly Colvin is the tournament's highest wicket-taker with eight wickets from three games at an excellent average of 6.62. Shelley Nitschke tops the list for Australia, with five wickets at 13.40. Four of those came in Australia's 24-run win over South Africa.
  • England have played 14 Twenty20 internationals, winning nine and losing five. Australia have fared slightly better, winning nine and losing three in 13 games. The teams have played two games against each other, with Australia winning both.
  • Quotes

    "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.

    Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo