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World Cup final win would be perfect – Ecclestone

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Spinner Sophie Ecclestone says it would be “perfect” if England beat Australia in the final of the Women’s World Cup.

England have been on tour for three months, going winless in the Ashes in Australia before losing to the same opponents in their World Cup opener.

“To beat the Aussies in the final, I couldn’t put it into words after the Ashes we had,” said Ecclestone.

“I really believe in this group and on our day we can definitely beat the Aussies. We’ve got a great chance.”

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England will look to defend the title they won in 2017 when they meet strong favourites Australia in the final in Christchurch on Sunday (02:00 BST).

Australia have lost only two of their past 41 one-day internationals, including their past seven against England. They have gone unbeaten throughout the World Cup in New Zealand, with eight wins from eight matches.

“I don’t think we worry about them too much,” said 22-year-old Ecclestone. “We worry about ourselves and just do what we can do.

“I know if we play our best cricket, we’ve got such a great unit as a team. We’ll focus on ourselves and do the best we can.”

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Left-armer Ecclestone is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps, the most for an England woman at a World Cup.

She is only three behind the record for a single tournament by any bowler, set by Australian Lyn Fullston in 1992.

Her impressive tally has come after she went wicketless in the opening defeat by Australia.

“To come back the way I have, I’m really proud of myself,” admitted Ecclestone.

Australia’s leading wicket-taker at this year’s tournament is another left-arm spinner, Jess Jonassen, with 10 victims.

“We know that England will come at us really hard and have some match-winners, but equally so do we,” said Jonassen.

England and Australia are the two most successful teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup – Australia have taken the title on six occasions, England four.

However, the Ashes rivals have only ever met in two finals – Australia winning on both occasions – with the last meeting at this stage coming 34 years ago.

“It’s a rivalry that’s entrenched not only in cricket, but also world sport,” added Jonassen.

“It’s the Ashes in something that is probably even more prestigious.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than a World Cup final against England.”

Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry took part in training on Friday after missing their final group game against Bangladesh – and semi-final win over West Indies – with a back problem.

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