England must conquer Australia to win title


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The Independent Online

Defending champions Australia will face England in tomorrow's Women's World Twenty20 final after breezing to a 28-run win over West Indies.

England, the champions in 2009, reached the final, which will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium before the men's equivalent, by beating New Zealand on Thursday.

The two sides met as recently as Monday when England won by seven wickets to finish top of their group, but the Australians are sure to be buoyed after a comfortable semi-final victory.

Electing to bat first, Jodie Fields's side posted a modest 115 for 7 before returning to dismiss West Indies for 87 in 19.2 overs with Julie Hunter taking five wickets for 22 runs. While pace bowler Hunter claimed half the West Indies batting order, pace bowler Ellyse Perry and off-spinner Erin Osborne (2-20) shared four wickets between them.

For West Indies, only two players – Juliano Nero (31) and Shanel Daley (25) – managed double figures as Australia backed their clinical bowling with sharp fielding to make amends for their less impressive batting earlier in the day.

Australia lost opener Alysa Healy for a second-ball duck after West Indies started with spin from both ends.

Lisa Sthalekar made 23 and Alex Blackwell 21 but Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals to settle for a competitive score. West Indies used seven bowlers to contain their opponents but Australia's bowling attack made all the difference.

Ahead of the men's Ashes clashes this summer, England have announced that they will play Essex in a four-day warm-up ahead of the Test series.

England will line up in Chelmsford between 30 June and 3 July in a bid to reach peak condition for the first Test against Australia at Trent Bridge on 10 July.