Before the delayed semi-final on Thursday, ticket holders to the sold out #World Cup Final at Lords were expectant of an encounter between old enemies. Could #England finally get one over their nemesis on the biggest of stages? As soon as those thoughts were entering people’s minds, Harmanpreet Kaur hit quite possibly the greatest one-day innings in women’s cricket history to push the Aussies to the brink of a thrashing. The champions gave a commendable effort at the end to lose by only 36 runs, but India deserved the chance to play a final at the holy grail. Can they do the unthinkable and defeat the two favourites back to back?

England will seek revenge

The opening match of this tournament saw another surprise, as the hosts lost to #india in a huge shock.

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India was sensational on that day, but four run outs summed up the story for the English. They were simply not ready and it was a wake-up call that was desperately needed. Since that disappointing day in Derby, it would be an understatement to say the team has been in formidable form. Winning every game and having a hugely dominant batting lineup has given them the confidence to win back the trophy they last held in 2009. The semi-final against South Africa was a spine-tingling affair at the end, with Anya Shrubsole required to hit the winning boundary to provide a victory by two wickets. The middle order has been firing apart from that match, and they will hope to stamp their authority in an attempt for revenge on Sunday.

India look to inspire a generation

India’s run to the World Cup final has been nothing short of inspirational.

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For a nation where the men are so heavily adored, the women have shown remarkable spirit to beat more fancied sides in the tournament. The semi-final against Australia will be remembered for generations to come, as Kaur hit the “best innings by an Indian in a World Cup knockout game”, at least according to former cricket Aakash Chopra. However, this has not been a journey dependent on one player. The leader of the pack, Mithali Raj has been outstanding in both her batting and captaincy and senior players like Jhulan Goswami have stood up to be counted when it matters most. It will be a huge ask for the team to back up a performance like they had on Thursday, but you would certainly not put it past these heroic women.

Women’s cricket is thriving

As mentioned above, the final on Sunday has been sold out at the “Home of Cricket”. 50% of the ticket holders are female and 31% of them are under the age of 16. This is massive news and just shows the impact a world tournament has on the country it is played in.

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Being able to watch the best players in the world is a huge thrill for the children of today and even seeing names that they have not heard of must be something special. The way the women have performed in this tournament has captured the public’s imagination in a more captivating way than the recent men’s Champions Trophy. This is a huge victory for women’s cricket and hopefully, this can carry on for the future generations of players.

As the whole world will stand still along with 26,500 people at St John’s Wood on Sunday, this tournament has been a huge success and one hopes for a magnificent final between India and England.