Date – Thursday, 27th February 2020
Time – 7 pm (Local Time), 1:30 pm (IST)
Venue – Manuka Oval, Canberra
With India facing New Zealand earlier in the day, Australia will face Bangladesh in the evening in Canberra. Australia had a jittery win against Sri Lanka in the last over in their previous encounter. Restricting Sri Lanka 122/6 after Chamari Atapattu’s fiery 38-ball 50, they almost botched another chase losing their first 3 wickets with just 10 runs on the board. However, with the experienced hands of their skipper Meg Lanning and Rachel Haynes, they managed to win the game by 5 wickets in the last over of the innings. That win, albeit scratchy, was enough to keep the hosts still in contention for the playoffs.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, suffered an early assault by India’s Shafali Verma before pegging them back by picking up some important wickets. However, the late cameo by Veda Krishnamurthy left them with too much to chase. India’s bowlers, led by Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey, were again right on the money as India won the game by 18 runs, avenging their finals loss in the Asia Cup. India now tops the table after that win.
As India look to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the playoffs facing New Zealand in Melbourne, Australia will want to stay on course for their spot in the semi-finals by winning against Bangladesh.
Australia Vs Bangladesh – Head-to-Head
It is interesting to note that Bangladesh has never faced Australia in this format. This will be the first time Australia faces Bangladesh and it can be a very interesting prospect as both teams will not be able to assess each other.
However, Australia is likely to emerge victorious considering the relative strength and experience of their squad over Bangladesh.
Australia – WLWWL
Bangladesh – LWWWW
(Last 5 completed matches)
Australia has had a mixed result of late, winning 3 of their last 5 international outings. Both the losses have come against India. They also lost a game against England in the recent tri-series. They have won on most occasions lately but the wins have not been as dominant as they were last year. In fact, their wins this year have been unconvincing, at best. This may be Australia’s best chance of finding their rhythm and form before their big games.
Bangladesh recently won all their matches during the South Asian Games Women’s Cricket Competition last year. However, they played only the Associate members like Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Their only loss in the last 5 matches was against India in their tournament opener. Prior to this series, they toured Pakistan and lost the 3 T20Is against them to go down 3-0. They do struggle against quality teams and they will find it difficult to beat a strong Australian side, even though the home team hasn’t been as dominant as they would like to be.
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 and had a good game against Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh Squad – Aisha Rahman, Fargana Hoque, Murshida Khatun, Sanjida Islam, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun (captain), Nigar Sultana, Sobhana Mostary, Shamima Sultana, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Panna Ghosh, Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter, Khadija Tul Kubra
The Bangladeshi batters are relatively experienced, with the likes of captain Salma Khatun, Shamima Sultana, and Sanjida Islam. They also have some big hitters like Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque, both of whom have a T20I century to their credit. Their bowling will be led by the pace bowler Jahanara Alam and the leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed, supported by Khadija Tul Kubra, Panna Ghosh, Nahida Akter and Fahima Khatun.
Top Fantasy Picks (based on past performances)
Bangladesh – Shamima Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Sanjida Islam, Nigar Sultana, Fargana Hoque, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun (captain), Nahida Akter
Players to Watch out for
Alyssa Healy (Australia) – Australian wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy has been out of touch recently but had a good game against India. 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.
Meg Lanning (Australia) – Australian skipper Meg Lanning has had a very good career so far. She has played 100 T20Is scoring 2700 runs with 2 centuries and 13 half-centuries. She scored 133* against England in last year’s Ashes. Since then, her form has not been as good with just a single fifty to her name in the West Indies. However, she scored an important 41 runs in 44 balls to anchor the innings after the fall of 3 early wickets dented their chase which shows how important she is to this side. Her experience as a player and captain will be handy as Australia look to make up some lost ground in this tournament.
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.
Megan Schutt (Australia) – Australian pace attack is led by the experienced and capable Megan Schutt. Her fast and accurate deliveries will be very lethal. She will want to make use of the inexperience of the Bangladesh players to handle express pace to put them under pressure and get the win for her side. She has taken 77 wickets in 63 matches and 18 wickets in 14 World T20 games.
Pitch & Conditions
The match between Australia and Bangladesh will be played in Manuka Oval, Canberra. 11 Women’s T20Is played at this venue with teams batting first winning 5 times while teams batting second has won 6 times. It has hosted 2 games yesterday in which the team batting first and second winning a game each. Australia have played 8 T20Is at this venue and won only 3 times. The average score batting first is a decent 143. All these indicators suggest that toss may not be a deciding factor in the game.
The weather is expected to be pleasant with the temperature between 6 and 25 degrees Celsius. The skies are expected to stay clear with no chance of rain.
Will Australia be able to pull off another win and stay in contention for the playoffs? Or will Bangladesh pull off one of the most famous upsets? Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates.