Date – Friday, 28th February 2020
Time – 7 pm (Local Time), 1:30 pm (IST)
Venue – Manuka Oval, Canberra
With Pakistan’s recent victory against West Indies, Group B – comprising of England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, and Thailand – has been thrown open again with England, South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan each now having a win under their belt. All these four teams are still in contention for two semi-final berths.
England lost against South Africa to add to their list of disappointing losses against India and Australia in the tri-series and Sri Lanka in the practice game. However, they would have shaken that loss after a comprehensive victory against Thailand.
Pakistan, meanwhile, has caused quite a stir in the group themselves, using the fielding reprieves against West Indies to cause an upset. That win means that they are on equal footing with the rest of the teams in the group. Another upset against an England side, although unlikely, can help them get one step closer to the semi-finals. But, considering the kind of results that the England team has had to deal with, that result is also remotely possible.
However, England players have had a good game against Thailand. If they can build on their momentum, they can win and stay on top of the group table, which will improve their chances of progressing to the playoffs.
England Vs Pakistan – Head-to-Head
England has had a very strong record against Pakistan. They have met each other in this format 13 times out of which England has prevailed in 12 games. The only time England had suffered a loss against Pakistan was during Pakistan’s tour of England way back in 2013. They have met each other in World T20s three times, with England having a clean record defeating them on all three occasions. They last met each other in Malaysia just before the tournament with England again whitewashing Pakistan 3-0.
The result goes to suggest that England has had a better of them and Pakistan would find it very difficult to go over the line against them. However, England have had their share of bad days and Pakistan will also be in good spirits after their win against West Indies, but will it be enough to cause an upset? Only time will tell.
England – WLLWW
Pakistan – WLLLW
(Last 5 completed matches)
England has had a fair share of losses in the last month or so. They have been beaten once by both Australia and India before coming to this tournament. Even in this tournament, they were defeated in their practice game against Sri Lanka and also in the first game against South Africa. However, they have won against Thailand. Also, they met Pakistan only recently during their tour of Malaysia and won the series 3-0. These wins will be a huge confidence-booster for the team.
Pakistan has had contrasting performances. They performed admirably at home against Bangladesh 3-0 before being beaten by England 3-0. Their last match ended with a sweet victory against West Indies. That win could improve their morale, but, considering their inconsistent performance, the result of the match will be determined by which team shows up on the field.
Going by the fact that some players have found some touch against Thailand and that they have only recently won a series against Pakistan, England would consider them favorites. But they would not want to repeat their lapses like they had against South Africa.
England Squad – Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kathryn Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt, Mady Villiers
England has a good mix of experience and fresh talent coming into the tournament. Amy Jones, while hitting a rough patch, can lay a solid platform for her side with Danielle Wyatt. Heather Knight and Natalie Sciver are very experienced all-rounders who can guide the middle order through the overs and continue to build from the platform provided by the openers. They also possess some strong hitters such as Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt and Fran Wilson who can provide the finishing touches. Their bowling line-up is built around the pace bowler Anya Shrubsole and the spinner Sophie Ecclestone. Much will depend on them along with the bowling of the all-rounders Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, and Katherine Brunt. Sarah Glenn had a decent outing in her two matches. Freya Davies and Mady Villiers will hope to make their debut in the tournament.
Pakistan Squad – Bismah Maroof (captain), Javeria Khan, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper), Nida Dar, Aimen Anwar, Muneeba Ali, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Umaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Anam Amin, Iram Javed, Syeda Aroob Shah
The Pakistan team, under the captaincy of Bismah Maroof, have got some capable and experienced players. Bismah Maroof, herself, is an excellent middle-order batter who can take over the responsibility from the top order. Muneeba Ali will look to carry forward her good form in the domestic circuit. Javeria Khan is also a solid player who can look to anchoring the innings. The flamboyance of Nida Dar, Iram Javed and Aliya Riaz will boost the score at the back-end of the innings. Nida Dar will also be expected to lead the bowling along with Aliya Riaz and Diana Baig. Anam Amin will look to roll her arm over. There will also be a handful of debutants looking forward to this chance.
Likely XIs (Top Fantasy Picks)
England – England would be keen to retain the same XI that won them the game against Thailand.
Likely Playing XI – Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (captain), Natalie Sciver, Fran Wilson, Katherine Brunt, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield, Sophie Ecclestone, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Glenn
Pakistan – Pakistan will also be looking to stick to the same combination that was fielded against West Indies.
Likely Playing XI – Muneeba Ali, Javeria Khan, Bismah Maroof (captain), Nida Dar, Umaima Sohail, Iram Javed, Aliya Riaz, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper), Aiman Anwer, Diana Baig, Anam Amin
Players to Watch out for
Heather Knight (England) – The charismatic English skipper likes to lead from the front and should be playing a very important role with the bat and ball as she has been playing in the past. She can build long innings, having scored a century and 3 half-centuries. Expect her to make a vital contribution while batting and bowling a useful spell for her side and picking up a few wickets. With 71 T20I matches under her belt, her experience will come in handy as England look to work through another tournament as one of the contenders. With her century against Thailand in the last game, she rescued her team from a poor start of 7/2 to lift them to 176 in their 20 overs.
Natalie Sciver (England) – Alongside her skipper, Natalie Sciver is equally skilled and experienced in guiding her team through the tournament. With her innovative strokeplay, especially the ‘natmeg’, a shot which became famous in the 50-over World Cup in 2017, she is capable of accelerating the scoring in the later stage of the innings in the company of the middle order. She has over 1200 runs including 6 half-centuries in this format and has found her lost form, scoring an important half-century in the game against South Africa and another half-century against Thailand.
Bismah Maroof (Pakistan) – The Pakistan captain, Bismah Maroof, is very experienced with over 100 matches under her belt. Having scored 2183 runs with 11 half-centuries, she is the most prolific run-scorer for Pakistan. She is also in good form, being the second-highest run-maker in the recently-concluded series against England in Malaysia. She also guided her team to victory against Pakistan in the last game, scoring 38 off 37 balls. Much of the team’s fortunes will depend on her as she looks to anchor the Pakistan innings with the bat and marshalling her teammates on the field.
Nida Dar (Pakistan) – Nida Dar has a good record in this format as an all-rounder. She has played in 98 matches scoring 1640 runs. She also has 92 wickets to show for her bowling efforts. This makes her a very reliable all-rounder for her side. She also possesses the fire-power to strike the ball cleanly and accelerate the scoring with her cameos, as was evident during the fourth T20I game against South Africa last year, where she struck 75 off just 37 balls. She will be well-versed with Australian conditions, with her experience of playing in the recent Big Bash League.
Anya Shrubsole (England) – With her raw pace, Anya Shrubsole is the leader of the English bowling line-up. Her pace is what turned the game for England in the finals of the 50-over World Cup against India in 2017. With 93 wickets from 71 games, she is England’s top wicket-taker. She comes on the back of a good performance against Thailand, taking 3 wickets for just 21 runs.
Pitch & Conditions
The match between South Africa and Thailand 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. At the time of writing, it has hosted 2 games in which the team batting first and second winning a game each. 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 14 and 26 degrees Celsius. The skies are expected to stay clear with no chance of rain.
Will England show their dominance and live up to the tag of pre-tournament favorites? Or will Pakistan cause another upset and shake up things once more? Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates.