In another big game in Group B, Australia will want to keep their winning run going, while New Zealand must try and bounce back after their opening loss to India.
Australia v New Zealand
WT20 Match 10
Guyana National Stadium, Providence
Going by the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings, Australia are the best team in Group B, followed by New Zealand, and then India, with Pakistan and Ireland lower down.
If the teams play to form, the two best performers in the three contests between Australia, New Zealand and India should make the semi-finals. On that front, India have fired the first salvo, beating New Zealand in the tournament opener, making the Australia v New Zealand game a huge one.
India have since gone on to make it two-in-two with a win over Pakistan, while Australia have been clinical in getting the better of Pakistan and Ireland. New Zealand, meanwhile, have had a lot of time to lick their wounds and get ready for their second match, against Australia.
If the importance of the match is in doubt, here’s Australia coach Matthew Mott: “We’ll be treating this as a semi-final-type game; we want to top the pool, so beating New Zealand is a big part of that.”
Australia should be reasonably confident of doing well – they beat New Zealand 3-0 at home in a Twenty20 International series in September-October, and their start to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 has also been better than that of New Zealand.
But, as Mott reminds everyone, “They’ve had a few days off, so they’ll be determined to bounce back. They’ve got world-class players. In T20s, they have arguably been the strongest team in the last couple of years. We’ve had the wood on them in the last series, but before that, they have given us a few headaches.”
New Zealand might have lost to India, but, in many ways, it was down to one player from the opposition putting them out of the game. It was Harmanpreet Kaur’s electric 103 that sealed the deal for India after New Zealand began well with the ball and then, despite the big target in front of them, batted aggressively in their chase.
Despite the way the points table looks, and recent history suggests, this should be a fantastic game.
Alyssa Healy (Australia): Healy has been Australia’s form batter at the top of the order, scoring big runs almost each time she has walked out in recent times. She has carried the form into the World T20, with 48 and 56* in the first two games, and she’ll back herself to give Australia another good start.
Sophie Devine (New Zealand): New Zealand usually put up, and chase down, big totals, and a big part of that is the experienced all-rounder, Devine. She walked out to bat at No.3 against India and couldn’t quite get going, but she is the blaster in the New Zealand line-up. Give her 20-30 balls to face, and she will change the complexion of the game.
There have been some big scores in Guyana already this tournament, and with the two teams boasting the kind of line-ups they do, we might well get some big hits in this game. But rain, a constant threat during the tournament, remains on the horizon, and that could be a worry.
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
New Zealand: Amy Satterthwaite (c), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, KE Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin (wk), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe
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