The 20-over and 50-over champions are set to face off in the final day of the group stage of the Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean.
The final day of the group stage of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 will bring with it the intriguing prospect of a blockbuster clash between the defending T20 world champions and the current 50-over world champions in women’s cricket.
In the schedule for the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 announced on Monday, the November 18 fixture between hosts Windies and England is the final one for both teams in their half of the draw. It could prove crucial for both sides in their attempts to seal a semi-final berth.
With only two of the five teams in each group making it to the knockouts, the participants have little room for error.
Two years ago, the Windies Women swept aside New Zealand, who had remained unbeaten until then, in the semi-final. Then, they thwarted Australian plans of lifting the ICC Women’s World T20 trophy for a record fourth time. Thanks to a solid performance at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, it was Stafanie Taylor’s team joining Darren Sammy’s side in celebrating one of the Windies’ best days in cricket.
This time around, they kick off their campaign at home with a match against one of the teams making it through the qualifying tournament.
Then come trickier clashes against the big-hitting South Africa side, who also boast of some of the most economical bowlers in T20 cricket, and Sri Lanka, with their spin attack and the looming threat of Chamari Athapaththu. The Windies swept Sri Lanka when the Asians came visiting last year, so they will back themselves to do well.
They’ll expect the strongest challenge, though, from England.
In 2016, Taylor was left in tears after a narrow one wicket loss to England in the group stage. After that, however, they embraced a fearless brand of cricket that took them all the way. “There were so many close games, but I think England was the turning point for us,” Taylor said back then.
Since then, England too are a completely different side. They’ve taken the positive, fearless approach that has worked so well for the likes of the Windies and New Zealand to another level. Just last week, they posted the highest total in women’s T20Is.
Until October 2017, the Windies’ Deandra Dottin was the only woman with two T20I centuries. Since then, the two England openers have a total of three centuries against their names. Adding to the drama is the fact that players on both teams know each other well, having played together in T20 leagues in Australia and England.
Given the firepower in both sides, it should be a cracker of a game.
Defending champions Windies' group stage fixtures
November 9: v Q1
November 14: v South Africa
November 16: v Sri Lanka
November 18: v England