Edwards leaves nothing to chance

ICC World Twenty20 2009

England women

England must regroup having savoured victory responsibly following the unlikely run chase against Australia yesterday

England will enter the "biggest game of their lives" when they attempt to become double world champions by overcoming New Zealand in tomorrow's ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final.

Yesterday's stunning semi-final victory over Australia at The Oval secured England's progress into their second final in three months following their World Cup success over the White Ferns in Sydney in March.

But England must overcome the nerves of the big occasion at Lord's and a talented New Zealand side, who have remained unbeaten throughout this tournament and won every game very comfortably.

"It's been quite a busy couple of weeks and reality has just set in this morning that we've got a Lord's final tomorrow," enthused captain Charlotte Edwards.

"After such a big win yesterday it's so important we knuckle down again for the biggest game of our lives in front of a home crowd."

England can at least be encouraged that they beat New Zealand twice during the 50-over tournament and during a warm-up game to this competition.

Confidence cannot be higher after they chased down a victory target of 163 for five yesterday with Claire Taylor hitting an unbeaten 76 to win the game.

To prepare for tomorrow's final, England's women have shown great restraint following their victory over Australia and there were few celebrations other than a victory lap around The Oval in the immediate aftermath of that triumph.

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards got England off to a quick start in the semi-final before Claire Taylor and Beth Morgan's heroic stand

"The girls are the most professional group you're ever going to meet," claimed Edwards. "We want to win this final and we're not going to leave anything to chance.

"We went straight to bed (last night), we were straight here at Lord's by nine this morning and the girls will be sleeping this afternoon. We're desperate to win another World Cup and we'll be doing everything we can possibly can to do that.

"I think we're dealing with the pressure very well. We've had a semi-final and now we're in a World Cup final and the girls are very relaxed now in a sense that they now how to deal with the big occasion and that's something we can take into tomorrow."

New Zealand, captained by big-hitting all-rounder Aimee Watkins, are confident their unbeaten run into the final has been timed to ensure they can mark their first appearance at Lord's with a revenge victory.

"We've got good confidence and everyone is fully aware both individually and collectively to put a good performance out," said Watkins.

"It has been comfortable and we haven't really been tested in any of our matches so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

"We're all feeling pretty good about ourselves and I think we're still on the way up so hopefully tomorrow we hit that high and really peak when we need to."

Both sides are expected to name unchanged line-ups from their semi-final victories for tomorrow’s showdown, which gets under way at 10.30am before the men's final at 3.00pm.

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