The Women’s World Cup has so far been exceptionally exciting and we are certainly gearing up for an interesting finish with punters making a kill on the best odds in the market this season. As far as the qualification scenarios are concerned, the competition is in a delicate position at the moment. As many as four sides are in contention for the three remaining slots and with Saturday being a triple-header day, we are soon going to get our semi-finalists.
In the third game of the day, India Women are set to take on South Africa Women in what will govern the fate of India Women. South Africa Women are already through to the semis and the result of this match will not make any difference whatsoever to their standings. The match between the two sides is to be played at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch beginning in the afternoon of Saturday, 26th March 2022.
INDW VS RSAW TEAM PREVIEWS
India Women were one of the favorites to qualify for the semis, but they have not looked like the side that was once the favorites. They have been pretty dismal even before the World Cup started – from their tour against New Zealand, which they lost by a handsome margin. India Women are still in contention to qualify but they will have to register a win here against the high-flying Proteas.
In the tournament so far, they have registered wins over West Indies Women, Pakistan Women, and Bangladesh Women. Against New Zealand Women, Australia Women, and England Women, however, they weren’t able to pull out their best and ended up conceding two important points in each of those games.
As it currently stands, though, India still has the matter in their own hands, thanks to their superb net run rate of 0.768 and a win here will seal them a slot in the semis. Given the way they have played thus far, it is certainly not going to be easy. They are currently placed at the fifth spot with three wins and as many losses, totaling six points.
On paper, India Women have a decent side but they have been very inconsistent, especially with the bat. They do appear to be a bit too over-reliant on Smriti Mandhana with no real contributions coming in from their other batsmen. The knock by Shafali Verma, however, should add to their confidence. Mithali Raj has looked good in recent times, but she will have to score a lot faster to adjust to the demands of the modern-day game. One thing that works for India is that they bat deep with the likes of Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana available to bat in the lower order. Jhulan Goswami too can hang around and smash big ones, if needed. On the bowling front, India Women look settled.
All in all, India Women have lacked in execution so far and would want to get it right in their most important match of the tournament. If the batsmen can play their part here in this match, they will be a very tough side to get past.
SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN
South Africa Women were never the prime candidates to qualify for the semis but they have certainly managed to pleasantly surprise their fans with the way they have played. They were spectacular in the first half of the group stage as they racked up wins over England Women and New Zealand Women. Their only loss came at the hands of Australia Women, who have looked invincible at the moment.
Arguably, the only vulnerable performance that Proteas Women showed was in their last match wherein they were reduced to 64 for 4 before rain intervened and made further play impossible. Had it not been for the rain, South Africa Women would perhaps have struggled to get a fighting total on the board. Having said that, they would have fancied defending that too, especially given the way their bowlers have bowled up until now.
At the moment on the points table, South Africa Women are placed at the second spot and a win or a loss won’t change anything. They have a decent net run rate of 0.092, which isn’t going to be of any real advantage going forward.
On paper, South Africa Women have a terrific side that is enjoying playing in these home-like conditions. They not only have an experienced unit with experience available right throughout the order, but they have looked pretty agile too. Besides, the presence of multiple all-rounders has ensured that they do not fall short in the batting firepower without compromising with the bowling variety. All in all, the Proteas have done remarkably well in the tournament so far, and beating them is going to take a big effort.
INDIA WOMEN VS SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN MATCH DETAIL:
Match: India Women vs South Africa Women, Match 28, ICC Women’s World Cup 2022.
Date and Time: March 27, 2022, Sunday, 06:30 AM IST
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
The pitch at the Hagley Oval is a balanced one. The new ball comes nicely onto the bat, so batters enjoy batting on this track. Bowlers have to be disciplined with their lines and lengths on this surface.
The temperature in Christchurch is expected to hover between 11 to 18 degrees Celsius. It should stay humid throughout the day.
Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.
SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN
Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Tazmin Brits, Sune Luus (c), Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty (wk), Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Tumi Sekhukhune.
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
PROBABLE BEST BATTER OF THE MATCH: LAURA WOLVAARDT
Laura Wolvaardt, who finished as South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the 2017 Women’s World Cup, has taken her consistency to the next level in the ongoing tournament. The promising batter is the second-highest run-getter in this World Cup having amassed 353 runs from six matches. The 22-year-old would be expected to put her best foot forward against India in her team’s final league encounter and the Indian bowlers must come out with something special to stop her.
PROBABLE BEST BOWLER OF THE MATCH: MARIZANNE KAPP
Marizanne Kapp has had a wonderful tournament so far as she has been consistent with the ball in hand. Kapp has so far registered 10 scalps to her name and is currently the fourth-leading wicket-taker. She had taken a match-winning fifer against the defending champions England and finished with figures of 5/45. The senior pacer will be hoping to run through the Indian team’s famed batting lineup.
Indian Women need to beat South Africa Women, who have already qualified for the semi-finals, to seal their place in the last four. India has a good balance in their ranks, so expect them to come to beat South Africa on Sunday.
Prediction: India Women to win.