The tournament has now progressed to the knockout stages with the top 2 teams from each group qualifying for the semi-final clash. To the surprise of many, India has topped the group triumphing over the mighty Aussies and knocking out the White Ferns in the first match of the tournament. England on the other hand did manage to win all their games but failed to get over the line against the table toppers from their group – the Windies.
Both the teams have a history in recent World tournaments where they featured in the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017 with England scraping through to win the game. Today’s clash however will be a mouth watering affair with especially the Indian team portraying strong performances and character in the tournament so far.
England too has looked strong in their group but the concern will be the batting which hasn’t shown much promise in the tournament so far. The bowling has been tremendous and they have been able to restrict the opposition to scores of 76/9, 85 all out and 117/6.
Both the sides have some match winners who on their day can take the game away from the opposition. Let us look at some of the key players to watch out in today’s knockout clash –
Smriti Mandhana – although she started slowly, but has now picked momentum just at the right time. She has managed to score 144 runs with a highest score of 83 against the Aussies.
Harmanpreet Kaur – The highest run getter in the tournament with 167 runs at a strike rate of blistering 177.65. She set the tone for the team by scoring a breathtaking knock of 103 in just 51 balls against New Zealand. Her presence at the crease backed up by her captainship has helped India finish the group as table toppers and be considered as a dominating force in this tournament.
Mithali Raj – she did not get to bat in the crucial game against the Kiwis, Mithali showed her class in the next 2 games and finds herself in the list of top 10 batters in the tournament so far. She has very well played the sheet anchor role in the team scoring 2 fifties against Pakistan and Ireland ensuring that the batsmen at other end can play with a free mind.
Poonam Yadav – her slow loopy leg spinners and googlies has ensured that she is the second highest wicket taker in the tournament with 8 wickets. She has been miser with her bowling conceding only 6.06 runs per over so far at an average of 12.12 per wicket.
Anya Shrubsole – having featured in only 3 games, she has already picked up 7 wickets at an unbelievable average of 5 per wicket which is the best in the tournament and an economy of 3.18 and a hat-trick against the South Africans.
Natalie Sciver – the star all-rounder has done extremely well with the ball picking up 4 wickets at an economy of only 3 per over. She hasn’t been able to contribute much with the bat so far but will look to do so in this all important clash.
Danielle Wyatt – the aggressive opener so far hasn’t been able to do much with the bat. With only 28 runs under her belt, she will look to make immense in this knockout match and provide the momentum for the batters.
All in all, both the sides look evenly matched and the team that holds its nerves the best shall progress through and get one step closer towards the coveted title of Women’s T20 World Champions.