The women’s T20 World Cup has reached the semi finals stage with no surprises in the make up of the final four however there were a few shock results along the way.
As semi finalists Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies settle back into Colombo after the round games in Galle, it’s crunch time for India, Pakistan, South Africa and hosts Sri Lanka who have the chance to automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup by wining their last placing games.
Australia v West Indies
The new kids on the block the West Indies had a breakthrough series while hosting the 2010 T20 World Cup in St Lucia. Following on from the semi finals the squad has had impressive team and individual results. Deandra Dottin has the fastest T20 century in international cricket taking just 38 balls to reach her hundred. Opener Stephanie Taylor has the same innings defining skill with the bat and they look to Anisa Mohammed to set the tone with the ball.
Their main problem has been producing consistency on overseas tours in varying conditions. With big wins over England in the West Indies they were comprehensively beaten only months prior in the return UK tour. This along with a loss to Sri Lanka certainly questions their ability to adjust to conditions and control a game for the full 40 overs.
Conversely Australia have settled in well building on their pre tournament training camp in Sri Lank in August. Meg Lanning became the first ever female player to score 30 runs or more in five consecutive T20 games and has built a number of key partnership with Allysa Healy and power player Jess Cameron.
The Southern Stars bowling stocks have been depleted with the loss of all rounder Sarah Coyte who has been sent home due to illness. Her replacement, Nicola Carey, has not yet played a WNCL match but has performed well for the Shooting Stars. With a finals spot the focus inexperience at international and domestic senior level will most likely mean a re shuffle of the original squad.
Fridays’ second semi final should see the Southern Stars have too much all round experience and know how to make their way through to their second ICC T20 final. Both semi finals will provide all cricket lovers with what T20 cricket is designed to produce more times than not. Big hitting, smart bowling, match turning fielding performances and here’s hoping for Australian supporters a Southern Stars win.
England v New Zealand
Semi final one this Thursday has undefeated England taking on 2010 T20 World Cup finalists in New Zealand. Although having an impressive World Cup history the Kiwis have never beaten England and will need everything to go right, and a bit more to progress to the final.
New Zealand have some strong up sides to their game including their captain Suzie Bates who is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball and big game player Sophie Devine back from NZ hockey duties. The down side could well be their mental baggage having come so close to a World Cup title on numerous occasions in recent times but not having taken the final step.
England’s Charlotte Edwards has for the last 10 years has been one of leading cricketers in the world and is now one of the most accomplished captains being the only player to have captained winning teams in the T20 and 50 over World Cups.
For New Zealand to have the chance they will need to negate to top order dominance of England’s Edwards, Sarah Taylor and Danni Wyatt. While find a way to put pressure on a bowling attack that all too often has all the answers.
India v Sri lanka
India are without a win this tournament and will face host Sri Lanka, who with a win against the West Indies, have had an encouraging tournament. India, however, should take the win and qualify. With less than six months to address the power issues that have plagued them for a number of years before they host the ICC Women's World Cup 2013, they will need to make some large changes to stay in touch with the world top four.
South Africa v Pakistan
South Africa have again produced a mid of the table result which sees them defeating all bar those who make the semi finals. They will face Pakistan with the winner also joining host national Bangladesh in 2014.
First Posted 03 October, 2012 12:09PM AEDT