In the end, all went pretty much as might have been expected. Despite the early surprises of the first round of Group B matches, the ultimate progression of England, Australia, West Indies and New Zealand to the semi-final stages of the Women’s T20 World Cup is what most commentators would have picked going into the tournament. That the only team to reach the latter stages with a perfect record is Group A winners England is both a pleasant result and somewhat surprising given the team’s shock group stage exit in the previous tournament.
Having seen off Pakistan in relatively comfortable style during their first match, England Ladies followed up with resounding 9 wicket and 7 wicket victories over India and Australia respectively to top the group in domineering style. With statistically the top three batters and two of the top ten bowlers in the world within their line-up, the inaugural T20 champions have a strength in depth beyond that of their nearest rivals and will go into Thursday’s semi-final against New Zealand with high hopes of continuing the White Fern’s record of semi-final defeats to date.
Australia meanwhile progress to meet the high-scoring West Indies Women in Friday’s semi by virtue of a D/L victory over Pakistan.
Despite a shock second day defeat to hosts Sri Lanka, the West Indian women’s team bludgeoned their way through their matches against New Zealand and South Africa to win qualification and group winner status with the highest average run rate of the tournament’s 8 teams. With a final match 10 wicket victory achieved in just 9.4 overs against the South Africans, the West Indies will face Australia counting the tournament’s leading bowler to date, Stafanie Taylor amongst their ranks.
While an early shock may have seemed on the cards when New Zealand were defeated by the West Indies, in spite of their heavy favourites status, the White Ferns ultimately came through the group in some comfort and will meet England looking to break their semi-final duck against the tournament’s form team. With Erin Bermingham only marginally behind Taylor in the bowling stakes, New Zealand ought not to be discounted – though the odds may be against them making a maiden final appearance on October 7th.
Semi Final Draw
England vs New Zealand
October 4 – 10.00am BST
Australia vs West Indies
October 5 – 10.00am BST
Sri Lanka vs India
October 3 – 5.00am BST
Pakistan vs South Africa
October 3 – 5.00am BST