Date – Monday, 24th February 2020
Time – 3 pm (Local Time), 12:30 pm (IST)
Venue – WACA, Perth
Australia’s first match against India in Sydney to open this tournament was a forgettable one for the hosts. Although their bowling did the job in restricting India to the 132 after a promising start by Shafali Verma. Their bowlers dismissed the top-order early before Deepti Sharma and later Poonam Yadav rescued India when it looked like Australia would start off with a win. The loss against India has left Australia with no choice but to win this match to stay in contention for the playoffs.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka showed that they are a much-improved side by going down to New Zealand with a brave fight. Chamari Atapattu scored a 30-ball 41 but they could not capitalize and went on to score only an average 127/7. However, they picked up 2 New Zealand for 58 in the 11th over, including the important wicket of Suzie Bates, but Sophie Devine guided her team to victory.
With both India and New Zealand scoring their first points, Australia must win to stay in the hunt. A defeat will make their chances of qualifying very difficult.
Australia Vs Sri Lanka – Head-to-Head
Australia has met Sri Lanka in 5 T20I matches to date. They have won all of their matches against them. In the World T20, Australia had faced Sri Lanka only once, in the 2016 edition, winning that match comfortably. They had most recently faced in a 3-match T20I series in Australia, in which the hosts were triumphant, winning all their matches to hand Sri Lanka a 3-0 whitewash.
With this record, Australia is likely to defeat Sri Lanka yet again. There may be a slim chance of another upset, though, with the recent lackluster performances. It may boil down to another innings of Chamari Atapattu to determine if that can happen.
Australia – LWWLW
Sri Lanka – LLLLL
(Last 5 completed matches)
Australia has had a few mixed results this year with losses against India and England in the tri-series. The loss to India in the opening game will add salt to the wounds. They would want to shake these losses off and win this match to gain some confidence and valuable points.
Sri Lanka will look at getting support from other players and perform as a team. At the moment, the chances for the team are revolving around their captain, which is continuing their losing streak. The others need to step up and support their captain if they have any chance of recording a win.
Australia Squad –
Meg Lanning (captain), Rachael Haynes, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wicket-keeper), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham
Australia has got a lot of experience in the squad led ably by their captain, Meg Lanning. She leads from the front with her excellent batting and captaincy skills. She is the first Australian cricketer, male or female, to score 2000 runs in T20Is. Alyssa Healy was out of form but seems to have rediscovered her touch with a superb performance against India in the opening game.
Ellyse Perry is an excellent all-rounder having taken the highest number of wickets in T20Is. Beth Mooney is excellent with the bat while Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince and Ashleigh Gardner can be a handful with both bat and ball. In fact, Beth Mooney’s 71 and Jess Jonassen’s five-wicket haul won Australia the title in the recently concluded tri-series. In the bowling department, Megan Schutt is fast, accurate and lethal while Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham will have an important role to play as spinners. Annabel Sutherland is also a talented bowler who can contribute with the bat. Tayla Vlaeminck’s injury was a blow that was evident in the game against India. Molly Strano had been added to the squad but was not too effective in that match.
Sri Lanka Squad – Chamari Atapattu (captain), Harshitha Madavi, Anushka Sanjeewani, Hansima Karunaratne, Shashikala Siriwardene, Nilakshi De Silva, Ama Kanchana, Kavisha Dilhari, Udeshika Probodhani, Achini Kulasuriya, Hasini Perera, Sathya Sandeepani, Umesha Thimashini, Sugandika Kumari, Dilani Manodara
The Sri Lankan batting is heavily reliant on their captain Chamari Atapattu. As was evident in the innings against England in the practice match and against New Zealand in their opening game, if she is on the song, she is unstoppable and can take the game away from the opposition. During their recent tour of Australia, she scored a quick-fire century but her side could not chase down the stiff target. Shashikala Siriwardene can be quite a handful with the bat and can put in some overs with the ball as well. Dilani Manodara can also be good with the bat. The bowling department will be led by their pace bowler Udeshika Prabodhani and the spinner Sugandika Kumari. Achini Kulasuriya suffered a head injury during the practice game but thankfully did not sustain any serious damage.
Players to Watch out for
Alyssa Healy (Australia) – Australian wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy has been out of touch recently. She will look to end her series of low scores with a match-winning knock to begin Australia’s defense of the title. Known for her aggressive style of play and fast starts, she can demoralize the opposition’s bowling attack and give her team a head-start. She also had a very good 2019 as she eclipsed her captain’s knock of 133* against England in the Ashes to record the highest individual score (148*) against Sri Lanka. On the way, she completed her century in only 46 balls making it the second-fastest century in Women’s T20Is. She has the big-match experience of playing in such tournaments to stay positive and bring out her best for this edition.
Ellyse Perry (Australia) – The veteran all-rounder Ellyse Perry will be the key to Australia’s fortunes in the match. It will be important for her to stay till the end and negotiate the middle and end overs. She can consolidate well in the middle overs through strike rotation and can slog in the end overs to give Australia a strong finish. As she has proved in the past, her bowling spells might also contribute to the ultimate outcome of the match. She is going through a rough patch at the moment and will hope it reverses to keep their chances of making it to the playoffs alive.
Chamari Atapattu (Sri Lanka) – The Sri Lankan opener and skipper is in good form at the moment and seems to be the only player who can make Australia nervous. As she had shown in the Sri Lankan tour of Australia and in the recent practice game against England, when she gets going, she is really difficult to stop. She scored 113 in 66 balls against a highly accomplished Australian side before blowing away England away with a 50-ball 78. Australia needs to dismiss her early to cement its hold in this match.
Megan Schutt (Australia) – Australian pace attack is lead by the experienced and capable Megan Schutt. Her fast and accurate deliveries will be very lethal, especially in the WACA surface. She will want to extract as much pace and bounce as she can from the wicket to keep Sri Lanka batters under pressure and get the win for her side. She has taken 77 wickets in 62 matches and 18 wickets in 13 World T20 games.
Pitch & Conditions
The match is being played at the WACA, which has traditionally favored fast bowlers with a lot of bounce and carry. In the 3 Women’s T20I match played here, all at this tournament, all have been won by the teams chasing. There have also been 21 Women’s Big Bash League matches played here out of which 7 has been won by the teams batting first and 14 by the teams batting second. Whoever wins the toss, will like to field first on this ground, make use of the conditions to restrict their opponent to a chaseable score and try chasing down the target. The temperature in Perth will be 20 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius. It is expected to remain sunny for the course of this match.
We are expecting a cracker of a match. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.