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Women's World Cup: England's Sophie Ecclestone 'A Threat' To Australia, Confesses All-Rounder Ashleigh Gardner

Australia will face off against England in the Women's World Cup 2022 Final on April 3rd at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

By IANS News April 01, 2022 • 13:11 PM

Australia all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner stated that her team sees England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone as a threat ahead of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup final at Hagley Oval on Sunday.

Ecclestone, who is currently ranked number one in T20I and ODI standings, scalped career-best figures of 6/36 as England defeated South Africa by 137 runs in the second semifinal at Hagley Oval on Thursday. The 22-year-old is currently the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 20 wickets at an average of 12.85 and economy rate of 3.40.

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Though Ecclestone conceded 77 runs in her 10 overs during their tournament opener against Australia at Hamilton, Gardner is aware of what the left-arm spinner can do in New Zealand conditions.

"She's the number one bowler for a reason. She's a fantastic left-arm off-spinner and she's quite a tall bowler so she gets a lot more bounce," Gardner said on SEN 1170 Breakfast show.

Gardner further explained how Australia can't take Ecclestone lightly. "On spin-friendly wickets, she can get the odd one to turn as well. She's certainly a bowler we see as a threat. That's someone that we don't want to just give wickets to. Our batters played her so fantastically in the first game when she went 0/70. Keeping her quiet for the game is probably our best option."

In the World Cup, Australia have been undefeated and face an England side against whom they won the multi-format women's Ashes 12-4 just before the showpiece event. But the six-time champions are still on the edge of their seats due to star all-rounder Ellyse Perry's availability for the final. Perry missed the final league match against Bangladesh and semifinal against the West Indies due to back issues.

Also Read: IPL 2022 - Scorecard

But Gardner, the off-spin all-rounder, is confident of Perry becoming fit enough to take the field for Sunday's final. "She's tracking okay. She's doing absolutely everything possible to get up for that final. She's such an incredible athlete and she'll be doing all the right things to try and play for the team. To miss out on a 50-over World Cup final, I'm absolutely gutted for her if that's the case. Fingers crossed for that game, but time will tell."

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