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Women's World Cup: Playing in a World Cup final is the absolute pinnacle, says Anya Shrubsole

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Christchurch, March 31 (IANS) England pacer Anya Shrubsole on Thursday has described the opportunity of playing in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final as ‘the absolute pinnacle’.

Shrubsole’s comments come after the defending champions entered the final of the mega event with a 137-run thrashing of South Africa at Hagley Oval.

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England will now meet Australia, who have been undefeated throughout the competition, in the final at the same venue on Sunday. It has been a remarkable upward swing of England, who began their title defence with three losses but fought back to win next five matches in a row, including Thursday’s semi-final, to storm into their second straight World Cup final.

“We ran them (Australia) pretty close at times during the Ashes and we know if we play our best cricket we’ll be there or thereabouts. I probably wouldn’t have thought (we’d be in final) when we were busy losing three on the bounce at the start of the tournament. We’ve got to be at our best again. We’ve got to perform similar to how we did (against South Africa) but it’s a one-off game and anything can happen. I can’t wait,” said Shrubsole on Sky Sports.

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Talking about how England will approach the final, especially with many in the team experiencing the feeling of being in final for the first time, Shrubsole, player of the match in 2017 World Cup final for her spell of 6/46, remarked, “It’s a great opportunity and I feel like we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve just got to enjoy it. I know it sounds like such a cliché, but everything we do is to have the opportunity to play in World Cup finals.”

“It is the absolute pinnacle. What you don’t want to do is let that day pass you by because you’re so nervous. If you don’t enjoy the World Cup final, then you’re not going to enjoy anything else. To put in a performance like that in the semi-finals is absolutely what you want, so we’re full of confidence going into Sunday and really looking forward to it.”

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Shrubsole, who took two early wickets to dent South Africa’s chase of 294 in the semi-final, further described how it was for England to lose their first three matches before making a remarkable turnaround to reach the final.

“I think at the start of the tournament we were pretty average – dropping a lot of catches, and not bowling and batting how we wanted to. We always say it’s not about how you start; it’s how you finish and it would seem we’re coming into form just at the right time.”

–IANS

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