Who will lose to Australia in the World Cup final?

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When we put together our Essentials Calendar last month, we figured we’d turn our attention to the World Cup at this point. We thought our gaze would shift from the West Indies v England Test series at the perfect time and we’d catch a big, exciting finish to the tournament. Who knows? Maybe we will.

But then, also, maybe we won’t. Making sense of the mashed-up remains of England’s Test team has meant switching to the World Cup at a point when there are only three teams left and when one of them is doing its level best to remove any tension from proceedings.

If you need to catch up, the situation is this: Australia are in the final, having won eight games out of eight. The remaining semi-final is between South Africa (five wins and one ‘no result’ out of seven) and England (three losses on the bounce followed by four “must-win” victories).

It’s pretty easy to guess how the respective teams are viewing things. South Africa have only lost to Australia and reckon they can put that right; England feel they’ve been hardened by all the self-inflicted knock-out cricket; and Australia, quite reasonably, figure that no-one’s beating them so they’ll probably win the final too.

In terms of the semi-final (2am Thursday), South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt is the tournament’s top-scorer and is averaging 61.85. England have the top wicket-taker, however – slow left-armer, Sophie Ecclestone, who has taken 14 wickets at 15.78.

The group stage match between these two sides came before England’s big turnaround, which they seem to have achieved by resolving to stop fielding like absolute shit. Wolvaardt was dropped three times in that first match. If England can avoid doing that again, they will make life a good deal easier for themselves.

After that… well, Australia are going to lose again one day, aren’t they? Maybe it’ll be on Sunday.

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  1. Of course, by a strange quirk of history, South Africa aren’t really allowed to get past the semi-final stage – which means our very own England may yet have a chance of succumbing to a devastating and potentially humiliating loss against their arch-rivals in the biggest match in 5 years! What joy!

      1. Yup, Adam’s position on the matter of his chosen team might be bluff, double-bluff, triple-bluff or something even more complex.

        I think England have a better chance of winning this tournament than the article gives them credit for. Teams often win tournaments of this kind building from a shockingly poor start, as long as they scrape into the KOs. Mens WC 1992 Pakistan and 1999 Australia being prime examples in my memory.

        Is this the through the early morning thread for the Eng W v SA W semi?

        [insert your own version of the “I do enjoy a semi early in the morning” joke here].

  2. It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, the ICC women’s cricket World Cup 2022 is coming home.

  3. FYI

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