The Trans-Tasmanian rivals Australia and New Zealand will lock horns against each other in a do or die game on Monday at the Junction Oval, Melbourne.
With a semi-final spot at stake, both the teams will strive to give their opposition a run for their money. It will be a real test of character for these two quality teams and the one who is able to hold on to its nerves will make it through. Australia will want its swashbuckling opener Alyssa Healy, who already has two half-centuries in three games, to provide them with a solid start.
On the other hand, White Ferns will want their skipper Sophie Devine to set the stage on fire with her all-round performance. While the Aussies have Jess Jonassen, the New Zealanders have Amelia Kerr, and it is going to be a spin battle at Melbourne. India which has already qualified for the semi-final is the only team to beat Australia and New Zealand in the group stage. So, who will join the Women in Blue from Group A to the semis? Let’s find out.
Head to Head
It is even-steven as far as the head to head statistics of Australia and New Zealand are concerned. They have played as many as 39 games against each other, with each team winning 19 of the games and one match having no result. The match on Monday will be the 40th encounter of the Trans-Tasmanian rivals and let’s see who inches ahead to make it to the semi-finals this World T20.
Australia Women Squad: Alyssa Healy(w), Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning(c), Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Nicola Carey, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Erin Burns, Molly Strano
New Zealand Women Squad: Sophie Devine(c), Rachel Priest(w), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Hayley Jensen, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Anna Peterson, Leigh Kasperek, Lea Tahuhu, Rosemary Mair, Katie Perkins, Holly Huddleston, Lauren Down, Jess Kerr
Top fantasy picks (based on past performance)
Players to watch out for
Alyssa Healy: Australia’s Alyssa Healy is definitely a player to watch out for. Be it behind the stumps or ahead of it, Healy is a sheer match winner and is unstoppable when she is on song. Alyssa has the ability to use the long handle and can keep the opposition bowlers at bay. Australia will bank on the stumper to set the ball rolling against the White Ferns on Monday.
Amelia Kerr: As far as the White Ferns are concerned, Amelia Kerr is a player with x-factor. Kerr is a quality leg spinner and more than handy with the bat, the glimpses of which she has shown against India last week. The 19-year old from Wellington has had an amazing World Cup so far and will leave no stone turned to take her side to the semi-finals. The pitch will offer assistance to the spinners and Kerr will be rearing to give her best shot.
The clash between Australia and New Zealand is the second match of the double-header and there is the slightest of the possibility of rain in the lead-up to the double-header. Though it is expected that the Rain God will allow the game to happen, there could be a thin cloud cover. A maximum temperature of 18 degrees is forecasted. The wicket will be slow and will aid the spinners.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.