Australia may have the upper hand in recent times across formats, but England have built up to the final through a strong run of tournament form.
ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 Final
Australia v England
Sunday April 3, 1:00pm local time
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
The recent results in matches between Australia and England may be one-sided, though the quirks of a tournament final and England's rise to the challenge mean that one of the best competitions in recent memory could end with another heart-stopping thriller.
Off the back of two successful outings in Christchurch on their march to the final, England face an Australian side visiting the garden city for the first time at the World Cup, on the move from Wellington.
Australia have lived up to the favourites tag, though a couple of stumbles on the road to the final hint that the women in green and gold are by no means untouchable. South Africa and England both forced rethinks in the field for captain Meg Lanning and her chargers in group stage action, and a collapse to 70/5 in a tricky Bangladesh chase turned many heads.
In other news, the final will be officiated by a four-woman team, a first in the sport.
Remember the last time
Continuing on from their dominant Women's Ashes campaign in Australia, Meg Lanning's side brushed aside a valiant England challenge in match three of the tournament, winning by just 12 runs in a chase of a colossal 310 in Hamilton.
Nat Sciver's surgical century was only ended by a reflex return catch by Jess Jonassen, and the tournament favourites survived the late assault in spite of a late one-two batting punch from Sophia Dunkley and Katherine Brunt.
Earlier, Rachael Haynes built the platform of both a strong Australian start and an all-conquering individual campaign, making 130 from 131 balls.
The only partnership bigger than the 196-run stand between Haynes and Lanning (86) at the tournament is the 216-run opening stand between Haynes and Alyssa Healy in their semi-final victory over the West Indies.
Will Ellyse Perry play?
An official decision is yet to be made on Ellyse Perry's final participation, though all signs point to the all-rounder overcoming back spasms to take her place in the Australian side.
Meg Lanning described Perry's chances as "strong" after training without issue in the days leading up to the match, though her role will almost certainly be limited to batting only.
It means Lanning will only have six bowlers to use for the fixture, limiting flexibility and likely squeezing out Annabel Sutherland from the starting XI.
Sophie Ecclestone v Meg Lanning
Within touching distance of the record for the most wickets at a single Women's Cricket World Cup (Lyn Fullston – 23), Sophie Ecclestone (20 wickets) holds the key against the Australian batting juggernaut.
She is yet to dismiss the Australian captain in ODI cricket, but Lanning's strike-rate against left-arm orthodox is the slowest across all bowling types. If Ecclestone manages to dry Australian middle-order runs, it may open the door for the defending champions.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown, Alana King
England: Tammy Beaumont, Danni Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver, Amy Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Anya Shrubsole
What they said
Meg Lanning, Australia captain: “That's the thing about World Cup finals, it's all on the line on the day, it's irrelevant what's happened previously in the tournament.
“Both teams start on zero runs tomorrow and it's about putting out a really good performance and that's the challenge for our team.”
Heather Knight, England captain: “I think winning will mean more after the start we had in this competition and being able to turn it around will be remarkable really, so that would make it even more special if we can do it tomorrow.
“And back-to-back (titles), we have an opportunity to make history being the first England team to do that and that's such an exciting thing.
BE A PART OF CRICKET'S NFT REVOLUTION
ICC Crictos official marketplace is now open!