Bangladesh looks for all-round improvement as it aims to cement its place in Group B, while one of Thailand or Zimbabwe could open its account
Matches on Friday, February 10
India v Ireland, P Sara Oval
Thailand v Zimbabwe, Mercantile Cricket Association
Match in focus: Bangladesh v Scotland
Bangladesh comes into the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 as one of the most improved women’s sides, and is capable of causing an upset. Scotland doesn’t enjoy the One-Day International status of its opponent, but this will be the match it targets in its aim to make the Super Six and gain ODI status.
The European side will have its task cut out. The team got in some extra, unscheduled practice ahead of this match. If it faced a test by pace against South Africa, it will be a trial by spin against Bangladesh. The batters struggled in their opening game, but the experienced Kari Anderson showed the ability to occupy the crease and the big-hitting skills of the likes of Rachel Scholes could give her side the edge.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, will be looking for a complete performance. The occasional loose ball hurt the side in its 67-run loss to Pakistan, and it will want to improve its fielding. David Capel, the coach, urged his side to improve in all areas. “We didn’t bowl anywhere near our standard with the new ball. We were too wide, too short, too full, too often. We didn’t really use the advantage of the new ball in these conditions. Having said that, we did pull ourselves back into the game, there were three quick wickets. We could have attacked a little more during that period and actually forced a few more errors,” he said.
Player in focus: Mansi Joshi
Player of the match in India’s nine-wicket win over Thailand in its second game, 23-year-old Mansi Joshi has an old head on young shoulders. A fan of old Hindi film songs, she’s an introvert off the field, saving her aggression for when she is bowling.
With figures of 5-4-4-3, she showed promise in a pace attack that is without the injured veteran Jhulan Goswami. She was impressive with her line and length, and the amount of bounce she was deriving from the surface. Her coach believes she can bowl at around 115kph.
“Jhulan di taught me about seam position and she also made me realise the importance of the non-bowling arm to complete the follow through,” says Joshi of her senior. “She supports all the youngsters in the team a lot and shares all bowling secrets.”
Joshi could be in line for her maiden ODI appearance when India take on Ireland.
Where the teams stand:
India is on top of Group A with an impressive run-rate of 3.08. Sri Lanka and Ireland have one win each. One of Zimbabwe or Thailand will have its first win when the teams face off. South Africa heads Group B, while Bangladesh, despite its loss to Pakistan, is ahead in second on net run-rate. Ireland has a major injury concern, with Meg Kendal, the opener, hurting her hamstring.
Quote of the day:
Mithali Raj, India captain: “We’ve not played Ireland in this format for a long time. We can’t take them lightly because we have seen that in both groups, teams are coming close to a total of 200, so we need to post more than that to be on the safe side. I definitely want my batting line-up to fire like we did against Sri Lanka and continue to have our bowlers to be disciplined because wickets here are good to bat on and may not really assist the spinners.”
Number to note:
Sri Lanka’s 146-run win over Ireland was its second-biggest win in ODIs in terms of runs, just behind its 155-run win over Pakistan in 2002. It was also the team’s first win without Shashikala Siriwardene, since 2002. Siriwardene, the former captain, missed the tournament because of injury.