Buoyant West Indies will host confident England and dark horse New Zealand in tri-series that will serve as important preparation for ICC Women’s World Twenty20
All matches will be played at the Kensington Oval in Jamaica under floodlights, with West Indies taking on New Zealand in the tournament opener on Monday (October 14). England will play its first game on Wednesday, against New Zealand.
All three participating nations have had successes in limited-overs cricket, both in T20Is as well as One-Day Internationals.
England, who won the first multi-format Women’s Ashes against Australia recently, will be without several key players, most of whom are recovering from injuries. Heather Knight, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt are all on the injured list, while Arran Brindle has opted out due to personal reasons.
This tournament will give England an opportunity to groom younger and more inexperienced players on the international stage. Though England will miss the pace and experience of Brunt and Shrubsole, it has plenty of young talent at its disposal. Katie Cross and Beth Langston, the uncapped seam bowlers, along with Natalie Sciver, the allrounder, Lauren Winfield and Tash Farrant, the left-arm seamer, will be keen to make an impact.
Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards – the top two batters in the world-- will look to make up for a quiet Ashes series while Lydia Greenway’s experience in the shorter format will also prove to be crucial.
Buoyed by its appearance in the ICC Women’s World Cup final in 2013, West Indies has made a lot of progress in a relatively short period of time with a young squad. A further high for West Indies was its 2-1 ODI series win over New Zealand at Sabina Park with Stafanie Taylor, the hard-hitting allrounder, playing the starring role. Taylor hit an unbeaten century and took four wickets in the final ODI on Thursday, giving West Indies the series. Taylor is a well-established match-winner with the bat, but she can be a threat with the ball too, as 111 wickets across all formats in international cricket testify.
Both West Indies and New Zealand will be familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses after the recent series, and theMerissa Aguilleira-led West Indies will fancy its chances of beating England too, given home conditions. Deandra Dottin and Taylor possess the ability to clear boundaries consistently at the top of the order, but West Indies will be cautious of relying too much on their contributions alone. In the past, over-dependence on the duo has hit the team hard on occasion and the rest of the batting line-up needs to step up too.
Staci-Ann King, the left-arm pacer, has earned a recall into the West Indies side after a year-long hiatus. Julianna Nero and Shanel Henry, the 18-year old top-order batter, too have been drafted into the team.
Having lost the ODI series, New Zealand, led by Suzie Bates, will be desperate to put up strong show in the triangular series. New Zealand has traditionally been among the stronger sides in women’s cricket, and it will want to set things right after a disappointing year that included being beaten by England in the third-place match in the ICC Women’s World Cup. One thing New Zealand can take heart from is its T20I series win against Australia in January 2013, when it won 2-1 in Australia.
Bates, having scored a century against West Indies in the first ODI, will be the key to New Zealand’s campaign. But apart from her, the batting line-up has failed to produce a defendable score and the team will need to address that issue quickly.
With the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh just five months away, this tournament will be crucial for each team’s preparations in the shortest format.
England: Charlotte Edwards (capt), Tamsin Tilley Beaumont (wk), Holly Colvin, Kate Cross, Natasha Farrant, Lydia Greenaway, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones, Beth Langston, Natalie Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Laura Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
West Indies: Merissa Aguilleira (capt, wk), Shemaine Campbelle, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Chinelle Henry, Stacy-Ann King, Kyshona Knight, Anisa Mohammed, Juliana Nero, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (capt), Erin Bermingham, Nicola Browne, Rachel Candy, Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Maddy Green, France MacKay, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest (wk), Sian Ruck, Amy Satterwaite, Lea Tahuhu.