Copy of 977205-01-02-1648882322532
England's Sophie Ecclestone (centre) celebrates with captain Heather Knight and the rest of the team after beating South Africa in the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup semi-final at Haley Oval in Christchurch. England face Australia in the final tomorrow. Image Credit: AFP

England Captain Heather Knight is hoping the experience gained from winning the Women’s World Cup in 2017 can help her team defeat favourites Australia for this year’s title in Christchurch tomorrow.

England - champions after defeating India in the final five years ago - face an Australian side that has dominated them in recent meetings and is looking to claim the country’s seventh 50 overs crown.

“I think the positive memories that a lot of this group have of winning the 50-over World Cup finals will be really useful for us, knowing that we can deal with that pressure when games are close and things are at stake,” said Knight.

“We’ve got the players in there that can bring their best cricket and rise to the occasion.” England have reached the final despite making a slow start to the tournament.

Group phase

A one-wicket win over hosts New Zealand kick-started their campaign mid-way through the group phase. Subsequent wins over Bangladesh and Pakistan took them to the semi-finals, where they thrashed South Africa by 137 runs.

Australia won the recent Ashes series before defeating their great rivals in the group phase by 12 runs, but Knight is confident her team has improved since that loss.

“In that first group game we pushed them really hard, batted remarkably and I think our bowling has started to peak towards the back end of this competition,” she said.

“I don’t think our bowling was quite on in that game and the bowlers as a unit are working much better as a group now.

“We obviously haven’t got the results against them recently, but on the day we definitely believe that we can beat them.”

Australia have won six World Cups, while England have bagged four, and the two teams have a lot at stake, given that the Meg Lanning-led side would be in search of a record-extending seventh title, while England will look to defend their crown they won in 2017 at Lord's, defeating India.

2013 winner

Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes already has a winner's medal from 2013, and she is well on her way to a competition record - the opening batter sits on 429 runs for the tournament, 27 behind Debbie Hockley of New Zealand's all-time best set in 1997.

That is not the only record that could be broken in the final. England cricketer Sophie Ecclestone has the chance to surpass Australian Lyn Fullston, whose haul of 23 wickets in 1982 remains the mark to beat.

Ecclestone sits on 20 wickets having taken her maiden international five-wicket haul in the semifinal against South Africa ending on 6/36, the best figures by an England bowler in a World Cup.

Knight has the chance to make history as the first England captain to guide her side to back-to-back titles, that day at Lord's in 2017 is still fresh in their minds.