England starts as favourites going into ICC World T20 2012
The men’s edition of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 is well and truly underway and soon, it will be the turn of the eight women’s teams to hit the pitch as well. The tournament only kicks off on 26 September, but over Saturday and Sunday (22 and 23 September), all the eight participating teams will play their warm-up games in the lead-up to the tournament.
England takes on South Africa in one of these matches on Saturday as the Moors Sports Club ground in Colombo, while elsewhere in the city, Pakistan will take on host Sri Lanka at the Nondescripts Cricket Club ground.
England is one of the favourites for the tournament, and is coming off a spectacular run, which saw it go without a loss in 21 Twenty20 Internationals before losing the last match of the five-match series against West Indies on 16 September at Arundel. This was after it had won the series 4-1.
England went into the 2010 edition of the ICC World Twenty20 as the defending champion, but failed to get beyond the group stage. Since then though, England has lost just four T20 Internationals in keeping with captain Charlotte Edwards’s philosophy of “wanting to put things right”.
England’s opponents in the warm-up game, South Africa, is also coming off a good series against Bangladesh, where it won 2-1. But South Africa’s win was not as much of a team effort as England’s victories have been, with captain Mignon du Preez almost singlehandedly winning the last match in Bangladesh.
The other match of the day pits the two Asia rivals-Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For Pakistan, captain Sana Mir is quite the star with her powerful batting as well as off-spin bowling. The host, knocked out in the group stages in both the previous editions of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2010, is an enthusiastic bunch led by Shashikala Siriwardena.