Anya Shrubsole says England have ‘nothing to lose’ when they face Australia in World Cup final | Cricket News

Anya Shrubsole says England will be “there or thereabouts” against Australia in Women’s World Cup final if they play like they did against South Africa in semi-finals; Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain insists England must be at their best, live on Sky Sports from 1am on Sunday

Last Updated: 01/04/22 6:30 am

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After thrashing South Africa by 137 runs, Anya Shrubsole says England are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final against Australia.

After thrashing South Africa by 137 runs, Anya Shrubsole says England are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final against Australia.

Anya Shrubsole says England have “nothing to lose” when they come up against the Australian juggernaut in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final in Christchurch.

Defending champions England are back in the showpiece game after a 137-run trouncing of South Africa, also in Christchurch, in Thursday’s semi-final.

England have rallied from losing their first three matches in the tournament and are now on a five-game winning streak, having also seen off India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the group stages.

But they will face an Australia side victorious in all eight of their matches at this World Cup and who have won 37 of their last 38 ODIs.

Highlights as England thumped South Africa at Hagley Oval in Christchurch to reach back-to-back World Cup finals

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Highlights as England thumped South Africa at Hagley Oval in Christchurch to reach back-to-back World Cup finals

Highlights as England thumped South Africa at Hagley Oval in Christchurch to reach back-to-back World Cup finals

Meg Lanning’s side beat England in the three Women’s Ashes ODIs earlier this year and then again on the opening weekend of the World Cup.

“It’s a great opportunity and I feel like we’ve got nothing to lose,” Shrubsole – whose two early wickets reduced South Africa to 8-2 in the semi-finals – said of facing Australia.

World Cup final ‘the absolute pinnacle’

“We’ve just got to enjoy it. I know it sounds like such a cliché, but everything we do is to have the opportunity to play in World Cup finals. It is the absolute pinnacle.

“What you don’t want to do is let that day pass you by because you’re so nervous. If you don’t enjoy the World Cup final, then you’re not going to enjoy anything else.

“I probably wouldn’t have thought [we’d be here] when we were busy losing three on the bounce at the start of the tournament.

Shrubsole celebrates after dismissing Laura Wolvaardt - the leading run-scorer in the World Cup - for a duck in Thursday's semi-final

Shrubsole celebrates after dismissing Laura Wolvaardt – the leading run-scorer in the World Cup – for a duck in Thursday’s semi-final

“We’ve got to be at our best again. We’ve got to perform similar to how we did [against South Africa] but it’s a one-off game and anything can happen. I can’t wait.

“We ran them pretty close at times during the Ashes and we know if we play our best cricket we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“To put in a performance like that in the semi-finals is absolutely what you want, so we’re full of confidence going into Sunday and really looking forward to it.

“I think at the start of the tournament we were pretty average – dropping a lot of catches, and not bowling and batting how we wanted to.

“We always say it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish and it would seem we’re coming into form just at the right time.”

England captain Heather Knight described her side's win over South Africa as 'a complete performance'

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England captain Heather Knight described her side’s win over South Africa as ‘a complete performance’

England captain Heather Knight described her side’s win over South Africa as ‘a complete performance’

Hussain: England can beat Australia – but must be at their best

Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain:

“That was by far England’s best performance of the tournament, with the bat, in the field, and with the ball. That will stand them in really good stead for Australia.

“It’s one thing putting in the perfect performance against Pakistan a couple of games ago on this ground, but another to do it against a South African side that have already beaten them in this tournament and that are playing well.

We obviously know conditions, but it’s a fresh pitch for the final, so I don’t think it will make too much difference, to be honest with you.

Anya Shrubsole on the World Cup final in Christchurch

“England are getting momentum going at the right time, getting better with every single game, but they will have to be at their best in the final.

“Australia are so far above everyone else in world cricket at the moment. They’re so athletic, so dynamic, all their players are in form and they have such depth.

“If England play like they did against South Africa in Christchurch, where Australia haven’t played in the tournament and England have great memories, they can definitely win.”

Watch the Women’s World Cup final between England and Australia live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 1am on Sunday.

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