It’s the last round of group games, and the last chance for teams to stake their claim for the remaining Super Six spots
Matches on Monday, February 13
Zimbabwe v India, P Sara Oval
Sri Lanka v Thailand, Mercantile Cricket Association
South Africa v PNG, Nondescript Cricket Club
Pakistan v Scotland, Colombo Cricket Club
Match in focus: Zimbabwe v India
India was the first team through to the Super Six stage, so this last group match is a chance for it to test its bench strength. A lot of things have come together at the right time for India, with the batters and bowlers hitting new heights. The team is high on confidence and it will be a strong challenge facing Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has a numerical shot at the Super Six and One-Day International status, having brought up a win against Thailand. If the team manages an upset over India in quick time, it could be tied on points with Ireland in Group A. The likes of Mary-Anne Musonda, Precious Marange and Ashley Ndiraya have done well to get starts. They will now aim to build on those to get a big one. Success at this tournament would make a big difference back home, Sharne Meyers, the captain, has said. Her team will thus want to take away the maximum from this game.
Player in focus:
Scotland’s Kari Anderson is a legend of the side. She’s been leading her team’s charge in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017, in the thick of the action with bat and ball. She’s been solid in the middle, helping the side recover from early wickets, while also accumulating the runs to be the side’s leading run-getter, at a tournament average of 34.66. She made a fifty in the team’s opening match against South Africa. Against PNG on Saturday, she put in a special all-round performance in a thrilling win, making 26 vital runs apart from taking three wickets, holding on to one catch and effecting a run-out.
Having worked for Cricket Scotland in various capacities for a number of years, the former Scotland Women player-coach recently moved to New Zealand to work and play with Northern Districts. “It’s a good standard of competition. You play against the White Ferns and a lot of the girls looking to move up the next rung of the ladder. It’s broadened by cricket too. It’s showed girls in our squad there’s opportunities there for them as well,” she said.
Where the teams stand:
This is the last set of matches in the group stage of the competition. From Group A, India, with three wins, has already qualified for the Super Six, while South Africa has made it through from Group B.
Sri Lanka and Ireland have two wins each, and are likely to join India from their group into the Super Six. Sri Lanka has a chance to make that three wins on Monday, but if Thailand and Zimbabwe pull off upsets, Ireland, which has already played all its group matches, might find itself tied on points with those teams, with net run-rate coming into the picture.
In Group B, Bangladesh too has played all its matches and has the day off. With two wins, it will hope to have done enough to make it through the next round. Pakistan will be backing itself to make it three wins as well.
So far in the tournament, Thailand and PNG have no notches against their names in the victory column, but have made the most of this opportunity to develop their 50-over game.
Quote of the day:
Abbi Aitken after Scotland’s win over PNG: “We wanted to come out here and we wanted to make a statement. If I’m honest, I don’t think we did that as best as we could. We can post bigger totals than that, we can bat better than that and we can probably bowl tighter lines than we did. If I’m being harsh, we let ourselves down slightly. But the important thing was just getting over that line today. We never like to make it easy for ourselves. That seems to be a Scottish cricket trait! But we did it and that’s the important thing.
“It’s just patience with our batting (that we’ve learnt). If you look at the girls who have managed to score totals, they’ve just batted with complete patience and really been sensible and kept their wicket safe. It’s learning from other batters as well – we had a brilliant game against South Africa.”
Number of note
Pauke Siaka’s 6 for 19 against Scotland Women on Saturday are the best figures in the tournament so far. Pakistan’s Nashra Sandhu has picked up the only other five-wicket haul of the tournament.