Top-ranked Australia are the favourites to win the ICC Women's World T20 2018, but Javeria Khan's team are no pushovers.
Australia v Pakistan
WT20 Match 2
Providence Stadium, Guyana
Australia, who completed a hat-trick of WWT20 titles with triumphs in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 editions and made the final in 2016, will want to start their campaign on the right foot. The batting line-up looks overwhelmingly strong with the likes of skipper Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney in their ranks.
Their bowling attack is just as potent, spearheaded by Megan Schutt, the No.1 bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Bowlers' Rankings. The Southern Stars have a powerful all-rounder in Ellyse Perry, who brings the crucial X-factor to their unit.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are ranked much lower but have won both their warm-up games – against South Africa and Bangladesh – with promising performances. They have the experience of skipper Javeria Khan and veteran Bismah Maroof with the willow, whereas players like Sana Mir, Nada Dar and Anam Amin complete a threatening bowling line-up.
Pakistan have never made it to the knockout stages of this competition, but they have the talent and ability to turn their fortunes this time around. Australia, however, might not be in the mood to give them a chance.
Meg Lanning (Australia): Lanning, with her incredible record in the shortest format of the game, will be Australia's biggest batting ace in the competition. Her record-breaking 126 in the 2014 edition of the tournament remains the highest individual score in all women's T20I cricket. Having scored 270 runs in just nine innings, the Australian skipper boasts of a splendid average of 90 this year.
Sana Mir (Pakistan): The veteran off-spinner, who claimed four scalps in two warm-up games, will be the leader of the Pakistan bowling attack. The 32-year-old recently created history by becoming the first player from Pakistan to climb to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Women's ODI Rankings for bowlers. Her performance with the ball will be crucial for keeping Australia's star-studded batting line-up at bay.
The temperatures will soar as high as 31°C during the first game but will reduce to 29°C at the time of the second toss of the day. The pitch helped spinners in the warm-up games and will likely make run-scoring a tad tricky.
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham, Nicola Carey
Pakistan: Javeria Khan (c), Bismah Maroof, Aiman Anwer, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Ameen, Sidra Nawaz
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