Australia Women vs New Zealand Women: Preview and Prediction￼
The arch-rivals Australia Women and New Zealand Women are ready to face each other to reach the Gold medal contention of Commonwealth Games 2022. It is the battle between the table-toppers of Group A Southern Stars and the Group B runners-up White Ferns. The high-voltage encounter between two neighbourhood rivals will take place on the 6th of August at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
The rivalry between these two combatants is fierce and historic in not just cricket but across all sports. They are considered as biggest monarchs of Oceania cricket and always battle out each other to claim supremacy on the continent. It will be the first time when Women’s teams of both nations will take the same field at the prestigious stage of the Commonwealth Games.
Australia fielded the same Playing Eleven throughout the group stage leaving out Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey, Amanda Wellington and Ellyse Perry on the bench. They are also expected to keep the same lineup in the Semi-final clash as well to sustain further the winning momentum. It is being reported that the star Aussie all-rounder Ellyse Perry who is yet to make a CWG appearance is still not able to prove her fitness.
It was a bit of a surprising decision from the White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine when she decided to not use Rosemary Mair in their previous unsuccessful target defense. The teenage sensation Fran Jonas who picked a solitary wicket of Danielle Wyatt in the first over of the innings is likely to continue in the playing XI. However, it is being speculated that Eden Carson will be replacing Lea Tahuhu in the lineup as the latter turned out to be an expensive option for the skipper.
What have they done so far?
The Australian side has remained unbeaten throughout the Group stages and is also considered hot favourites for the gold medal honour. Meg Lanning and the company had a tough fight in the opening fixture against India Women and somehow managed to emerge victorious. However, the following two fixtures weren’t that difficult as they went on to register convincing wins in the remaining games as well.
The White Ferns had a great start to the CWG campaign after winning the first two Group B fixtures convincingly. However, they could not replicate it in the third and final group game where they were defeated by the host Three Lioness by 7 wickets. New Zealand could have faced India in the semifinal round if they would have managed to get away with a win against England in order to top Group B.
Head to Head record
Australia Women and New Zealand Women have faced each other on 46 occasions in the 20-over format since the inception of this rivalry in 2006. The head-to-head record of this combat is slightly favouring the Yellow side who have won 23 games while the Black outfit is currently standing on 21 victories. The first-ever encounter between these two in the shortest format of the game which was played in October of 2006 ended in a tie outcome at Brisbane.
In March 2021, Team Australia toured New Zealand to play a couple of white-ball series against the Kiwis. The limited-over tour of Aussies initiated with a 3-match T20I saga which ended in a 1-1 settlement between the two arch-rivals. The decider fixture of the series which was scheduled to take place in Auckland on 1st April got whitewashed due to heavy rainfall.
Tahlia McGrath: The T20 specialist Aussie all-rounder is making a contribution to guide her nation towards the Commonwealth Games Gold with the bat and ball as well. The 26-year-old femini is currently the second-highest wicket-taker of the competition with six breakthroughs from just three appearances. She is also the highest run-scorer from the Australian camp having 92 at a strike rate of 155.93 under her helm.
Suzie Bates: The veteran Kiwi batter is currently leading the run-scoring charts of Commonwealth Games 2022 by fetching a grand total of 135 runs from just three innings. Her innings of 91 not out off 64 balls in their opening fixture of the campaign is also the highest individual score of this competition. Bates was also the top scorer of New Zealand innings in the following game against Sri Lanka where she had a robust 34-run stand.
Predicted Playing XI
Australia Women: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
New Zealand Women: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Izzy Gaze (wk), Eden Carsen, Hannah Rowe, Rosemary Mair, Fran Jonas
Australia has shown sheer dominance in the Group stages by sidelining opponents they have faced till now. Meanwhile, New Zealand Women’s confidence must have deteriorated after their most recent dejected outcome against the hosts England. Aussies Women outclass their Oceania counterparts in each and every aspect on the paper hence it’s no brainer that they are hot favourites to emerge victorious from this penultimate encounter.