Seamer Ellyse Perry says big-game experience and a well-rounded bowling attack will give Australia a fighting chance against England in Sunday’s Women’s World Twenty20 final in Colombo.
While Australia are defending champions they’re regarded as the underdogs in the final after suffering a seven-wicket mauling from the Poms in the group stage of the tournament on October 1 in Galle.
Australia scored a 28-run win over West Indies in Friday night’s semi-final, as Jodie Fields’ side hit 7-115 then bowled the Windies out for 87.
But Perry, who was named player of the match after bowling big guns Stafanie Taylor (three) and Deandra Dottin (six), says taking on England’s Sarah Taylor will be a big challenge.
Taylor hit an unbeaten 65 in England’s group-stage win over Australia.
“Looking at our bowling attack everyone is capable of picking up wickets,” says Perry, a soccer international who’s aiming to add a second World T20 title to her trophy cupboard after playing in Australia’s victory over New Zealand in the 2010 final in Barbados.
“Sarah Taylor is an exceptional player and I think we all found it quite difficult to bowl to her (in the group match).
“Looking at that game, in the field and with the ball, we didn’t do things as well as we would’ve liked to and they really got away from us in an eight-over patch there.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge on Sunday but the way we bowled (against West Indies) gives us a lot of confidence going into that match.”
Fields was asked how she felt about her side being the underdogs.
“Everyone has been talking about how England are favourites,” Fields said.
“But we’re defending champions going into the final and we want to win it.
“The conditions here are slightly different to Galle.
“It was much more advantageous to the seamers at Galle and the ball came onto the bat much more quickly.
“Here it favours the spinners but Ellyse proved today that if you bowl well and put the ball in the right areas you can certainly pick up wickets.”
Australia pace bowler Julie Hunter helped trigger the Windies’ lower-order collapse and claimed 5-22, the best figures by an Australia player in a women’s T20 International.
Offspinner Lisa Sthalekar made 23 and conceded six runs from four overs after taking the new ball with Perry.
“The way that Lisa bowled in those first few overs and how tight she was gave me that leeway to really attack the stumps and be more aggressive and try and pick up wickets rather than bowling more defensively,” Perry said, adding the experience of winning the 2010 final was something the team could draw on for Sunday’s clash.