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ICC WOMEN'S WORLD CUP 2017

Hartley shapes as England's giant slayer

23 July 2017

Aaron Pereira, London


@AaronPereira_

Aaron Pereira, London


@AaronPereira_

Young spinner keen to target India's big guns on grandest stage of them all

Should any of India's top-order start to dominate Sunday's Women's World Cup final, one young England bowler wants the responsibility to take them down.

England spinner Alex Hartley – the bowler who dismissed world No.1-ranked batter Meg Lanning in their three-run victory over Australia earlier this month – says confidence is key when approaching world-class opposition.

"I want to be the best left-arm spinner in the world so you've got to get the best people out, it's just backing your own game plan," Hartley told cricket.com.au.

"If you think when someone is batting, 'she is going to hit me for six', well then you're going to get hit for six.

"If you think you're going to bowl a dot, you're more likely to bowl a dot."

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A giant slayer of sorts, regular taking down a team's most damaging batter, the 23-year-old has removed New Zealand captain Suzie Bates and West Indies firebrand Hayley Matthews in the World Cup, and says she doesn't get overawed by who is at the other end.

"You've just got to back yourself," Hartley added. "You're here for a reason, you play cricket for a reason, for me I'm good at taking the situations out of the equation."

The tweaker has claimed eight wickets in the tournament and has often been turned to by England captain Heather Knight as a partnership breaker.

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Hartley's 17th ODI match will be a packed out final at Lord's against India, something the left-arm orthodox bowler never thought would happen.

"It's an absolute dream come true," she said. "I never thought I'd play in a World Cup, I never thought I was good enough to play for England and here we are at Lord's with a sell-out crowd.

"I am so excited."

And the prospect of facing an in-form Harmanpreet Kaur – who blasted 171 from just 115 balls to knock title holders Australia out of the campaign – is more exciting than daunting for the Lancashire local, already planning Kaur's demise.

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"I was glued to the TV … her knock was unbelievable," Hartley said.

"I was watching the bowlers and they kept bowling it in the slot.

"She likes freedom, she likes to move around – I would've tried something different, I would've bowled at her, I would've bowled back of a length."

India defeated England in their last encounter, inflicting England's only loss for the tournament, something Hartley hopes her side can rectify to claim a fourth world title.

"India got a hold of us that game," she said. "We didn't play our best cricket but the loss came at the right time.

"We probably have all learnt from our mistakes in that game and hopefully we can make it right on Sunday."

About the Writer

@AaronPereira_
Aaron Pereira is a writer for cricket.com.au, with a major focus on the Indian Premier League. He also edits cricket.com.au news packages and highlights.