England v New Zealand, ICC Women's World Twenty20, final, Lord's

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In-form teams gear up for sequel

England v New Zealand, ICC Women's World Twenty20, final, Lord's

Big Picture

So they meet again. The two finalists from the 50-over World Cup in Australia - which England won by four wickets - will face each other in the World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday. Both England and New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament and put in such strong performances in the semi-finals that it is hard to predict a favourite. Though home advantage isn't a big factor in Twenty20, England can claim to have a slight edge over New Zealand.

England's strength is their batting, led by world No. 1 Claire Taylor - whose unbeaten 76 off 53 balls took her side into the final - and captain Charlotte Edwards. New Zealand, on the other hand, have a very tight bowling unit, with 25-year-old Sian Ruck emerging as a great future talent. New Zealand's batting, however, hinges somewhat on the hard-hitting Suzie Bates and captain Aimee Watkins. If they fail, the team looks very fragile.

Both teams showed in the semi-finals that Twenty20, a game of big hits and fast action, is suited to women and can be a format used to make the game more popular. They repeatedly cleared the boundary and dived and threw balls in with accuracy. A close final on Sunday could set up an interesting rivalry for the future and, more importantly, a precedent for women's curtain-raiser matches in bilateral series.


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England have won all their

England have won all their games. Good record going into the finals. Just like the Lankan men.

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