Entering the better half of the tournament with every game being of vital significance, one would expect the competitiveness to be top notch. With just two spots in each group up for grabs, each match hereafter counts.
While Australia will come into the Group A clash of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 on Thursday (Match 24) wounded after having been hammered by New Zealand women by a comfortable six-wicket margin in their second game, Sri Lanka are coming off their first win in the competition – and their first in the last 10 T20Is – after beating Ireland by 14 runs. But, the catch is here – both these teams have never played a Twenty20 International against each other prior to this.
Shashikala Siriwardene’s absence meant that Chamari Atapattu was handed over the reins of the team. The added responsibility seemed to have worked well for her, finally having gotten some runs under her belt as she raced away to a 22-ball 34 against Ireland. Atapattu, who is a vital cog in Sri Lanka’s top order being out of touch in the last few series was hurting the team. Her peaking right before an important clash bodes well for the side.
In addition, Eshani Lokusuriyage, who was struggling a bit with the bat, scored a 35 and got going against Ireland too. However, Sri Lanka’s 129 against Ireland came on the back of just three batters reaching double figures, will be a cause of concern for the team that is up against a strong Australian bowling attack.
Australia’s top four collectively managed to score just two runs against New Zealand in their last game and failed against South Africa in their opener as well. Ellyse Perry’s heroics with the bat wasn’t enough to help Australia post a strong enough total to defend. The top order’s failure could be Sri Lanka’s cue to bowl well at the start and derail their innings.
With two frail top orders going against each other, it will be up to which team’s batters showcase composure at the start and set up a good total. Given that neither side has ever faced the other before, the contest is one with a lot of unknown premises. (Courtesy Cricket Buzz)