Sunday will see title holders Australia take on West Indies in one match and India take on New Zealand in the other
It is business as usual for the women's teams who have touched down in Colombo ahead of the third edition of the ICC World Twenty20 that kicks off in the coastal town of Galle on September 26.
Sunday (September 23) will see four teams in action on the second day of the warm-up fixtures in Colombo. Australia, the defending champion, will take on West Indies at the Moors Sports Club. West Indies, who is coming off a disappointing 1-4 Twenty20 International series loss in England, will be looking to get back into its groove in more favourable conditions, both in terms of playing surface and weather.
Throughout its tour of England, batting was a major concern for West Indies. In five matches, it could cross 100 only twice, which means the onus will be on the batting department to set things right in its build-up towards the opening fixture against New Zealand on September 26.
Crucial to its chances will be the form of Stafanie Taylor, who won the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year award. She missed the first two matches against England, but found form immediately on her return. Expected to complement her are Merissa Aguilleira, the wicketkeeper-batsman, and Deandra Dottin, who were among the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing tour of England. Dottin's half-century was the cornerstone to West Indies’ only victory on tour in the fifth match, where it chased down a daunting 140.
Australia has little to worry about in terms of form and fitness. The formidable unit led by Jodie Fields goes in as one of the favourites along with England and New Zealand. However, Australia would be on its guard against rustiness, as its last international outing came nearly six months ago in India, where it won the Twenty20 International series 4-1.
The second match of the day will see the Mithali Raj-led India clash against New Zealand at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. India, who is heading into the tournament on the back of a hectic preparatory camp in Bangalore, will be hoping for a fresh start. The batting is led by Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur, while the bowling fortunes hinge on Jhulan Goswami, the former captain, and Niranjana Nagarajan, who Raj believes could be one to watch out for.
India beat Ireland in a one-off Twenty20 International in June, but subsequently came a cropper against England in the two Twenty20 Internationals before going down 2-3 in the One-Day Internationals. Overcoming the stiff challenge posed by New Zealand, led by Suzie Bates, will be good match practice.
New Zealand is placed in Group B alongside South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.