Sri Lanka’s opening game was against England, and going by the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings – England are at No.3 and Sri Lanka at No.8 – the rain-enforced abandonment was better for the Asian side than the 50-over world champions.
That’s a point in the bag for Sri Lanka, and they will back their chances of adding two more against a team whose batting performance in the warm-up games was as modest as that of the Lankans.
Dane van Niekerk’s side were poor in their two official warm-ups, performing below par with the bat to go down to Pakistan and Australia. In the first, they scored 72/9 in 15.1 overs, and in the second, all they got in response to Australia’s 130/4 was 79/9.
But Sri Lanka were only marginally better – they were bowled out for 98 by New Zealand and 85 by Ireland in their games.
The bowling, for both teams, has been fine, but it’s the batters who have flattered to deceive, and it’s the batters who must rise to the occasion in this crunch clash.
On that front, South Africa have more pedigree. In Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt, and van Niekerk herself, they have batters of class. Not that Sri Lanka don’t have stalwarts of their own – the foremost among them is Chamari Atapattu, the captain.
But South Africa, at least on paper, have a better-rounded side. Sri Lanka will know that, but they will also know that the opposition batters might just be low on confidence, and it will be a good time to strike. And then hope for Atapattu & Co to do enough to keep Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Tumi Sekhukhune and the like at bay.
India beat Pakistan to maintain 100% record
India made it two wins from two matches in Group B at the Women’s World Twenty20 with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in Guyana.
Pakistan were soon reduced to 30-3 but India spilled five chances and Bismah Maroof (53) and Nida Dar (52) put on 93 within 12 overs to help them to 133-7.
But Pakistan were twice penalised for batters running down the centre of the pitch and India were gifted 10 runs. Mithali Raj hit seven fours in her 56 as India won with six balls remaining.
India who have yet to reach a WT20 final won on the opening day with a win against twice runners-up New Zealand.