Women's Quadrangular one-day series:
Australia 169-3 (35 overs) beat England 168 all out (48 overs) by seven wickets at Lord's (match scorecard)
New Zealand 201-8 (50 overs) beat India 162-9 (50 overs) by 39 runs at Southgate ((match scorecard))
Only Greenway (pictured and Colvin offered any real resistance for England
Australia ended England's six-match unbeaten run with a seven-wicket rout in the Women's Quadrangular Series.
Both teams had already secured their place in Thursday's final at
after victories against New Zealand and India in their opening two group games.
England chose to bat at Lord's but soon lost Claire Taylor for a duck and were 168 all out in 48 overs, Lydia Greenway top-scoring with 34 from 46 balls.
Alex Blackwell hit an unbeaten 54 as Australia won with 15 overs remaining.
England's attempt to secure a seventh successive victory foundered in the face of an impressive Australia bowling performance.
Lisa Sthalekar finished with 3-30 from her 10 overs, while Clea Smith took 2-22 in eight overs.
The hosts' final total represented a recovery of sorts after they slipped to 26-4.
England women's captain Charlotte Edwards
“We have another chance against Australia at Wormsley and will take all our positives from previous performances in the series into the final ”
While Shelley Nitschke and Blackwell passed 50 for Australia, Greenway's 34 and 29 from Holly Colvin at number nine were the biggest contributions to England's modest total.
Victory ensured Australia finished above England in the table.
"It was a disappointing performance," said England captain Charlotte Edwards, who made only two from 27 balls. "We didn't get the runs on the board.
"We knew we would have to take early wickets to give ourselves any chance of defending 168, especially at Lord's.
"It wasn't to be but we'll put this down to a bad day at the office and move on. We have another chance against Australia at Wormsley and will take all our positives from previous performances in the series into the final on Thursday."
Tuesday's other match was between New Zealand and India, who meet again on Thursday to contest the official third-place play-off at Aston Rowant, south Oxfordshire.
New Zealand won the group match at Southgate by 39 runs after compiling 201-8, in which opener Lucy Doolan made an international best 76, her maiden one-day international half century.
India were restricted to 162-9 from their 50 overs, Harmanpreet Kaur top-scoring with 33 from 54 balls, and fell to their sixth defeat in seven matches.