New Zealand Women vs England Women: Preview and Prediction￼
New Zealand Women will lock horns against England Women in the 12th T20I cricket match of the 2022 Commonwealth Games tournament at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday. New Zealand Women beat South Africa Women in their opening match by 13 runs. Suzie Bates scored the highest 91* runs off just 64 balls and Sophie Devine took three wickets in that game.
The Kiwis followed that up with a 45-run victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday to qualify for the semis with a game in hand. Bates again top-scored for New Zealand eves in that game whilst Hayley Jensen bagged three wickets while bowling for the Kiwis in that game. Courtesy of this win, the Kiwis sit on the top of the table in Group B with four points from two games.
England has also won both their Group B encounters in this competition, winning their opener against Sri Lanka by five wickets and following that up by winning their next tie against South Africa by 26 runs. With the courtesy of two wins in as many matches, they have also qualified for the semis from their Group although they currently sit on the second spot in Group B albeit with an inferior net run rate to the Kiwis.
Although both of these teams have qualified for the semis from Group B, the winner of this game will play the second-ranked team from Group A, thus increasing their chances of making it to the finals and hence this game will be as competitive as the upcoming knockout games of the competition.
What have they done so far?
Prior to this competition, New Zealand hasn’t played internationally since the sad end to their campaign at the World Cup. Their recent form includes wins over India, Bangladesh and Pakistan at the World Cup apart from their wins against South Africa and Sri Lanka at CWG but also heavy losses at the hands of Australia, South Africa, West Indies and England.
They’ll need to pull their socks up and showcase better consistency if they are to compete well in this game of the CWG 2022. Since the start of 2021, they’ve won only five and lost six of their 12 T20Is.
In their first match of the Commonwealth Games, New Zealand Women posted 167-2 on the board against South Africa Women and won by 13 runs. The experienced Suzie Bates smashed an unbeaten 91 off 64 balls while captain Sophie Devine made a well-composed 48 off 40 balls. Whilst bowling, Jensen and Tahuhu had an economy rate of 4 against Sri Lanka Women. Sophie Devine’s spell of 3-37 in the last game turned the match in the team’s favour.
The Kiwis followed that up with a 45-run victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday to qualify for the semis with a game in hand. Bates again top-scored for New Zealand eves in that game whilst Hayley Jensen bagged three wickets while bowling for the Kiwis in that game.
Devine and Bates are also the top scorers for the team against England Women and would be the main batters to watch out for while Amelia Kerr also looks in good touch. New Zealand’s bowling department has plenty of variety. Fran Jonas and Hayley Jensen are likely to open the bowling followed by Lea Tahuhu, Hannah Rowe, and Devine too can come in handy in the middle overs.
England, on the other hand, has had a pretty good year in the sport. They recently swept a strong South Africa side by 3-0 margins in ODIs and T20Is and also finished runners-up at the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup 2022 in New Zealand earlier this year, wherein they were blown away by Australia in the final.
Among the eight teams participating at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, England has won the most matches since the start of 2021 – 12 of the 16 games played, with one ending in no result.
Heather Knight is likely to be back in the side after missing out on the first two games of the competition. The 5-wicket win in the tournament wasn’t as convincing as the hosts would have liked, however, they did register a convincing win over the Proteas in their next group game. It will be a tougher challenge for the side against the White Ferns and Knight would like to register a big win and make her side finish top of the group to avoid mighty Australians in the semis.
Sophia Dunkley didn’t score much in the first two games and the side would need her to put up a good show here. Knight’s return would strengthen the batting line-up and she will look to set up partnerships with Danni Wyatt and Alice Capsey who played an important knock in the last game. Amy Ellen Jones and Maia Bouchier will have to excel in the finishers’ role.
Katherine Brunt and Issy Wong bowled brilliantly with the new ball, and this would add to the side’s confidence in this game. Sophie Ecclestone used the conditions well and she will look to bowl the same way. Alice Capsey and Natalie Sciver are experienced bowlers, and they will have important roles to play with Sarah Glenn.
Head to Head Record
In 28 matches between the two sides, England Women have the better record having won 22 out of the 28 matches, while their counterparts New Zealand Women have only won six. The most recent fixture between the two sides was won by England as the Three Lioness defeated the White Ferns by a margin of four wickets on September 9th 2021.
Sophie Devine (New Zealand): Since the start of 2020, Devine’s team have won just two T20 series from a possible six and have failed to reach the knockout stages in the previous two T20 World Cups, but the allrounder remains the fulcrum of her side – only five players have scored more career T20I runs, one of whom is Bates. Only Deandra Dottin has hit more T20I sixes than Devine, who is now four shy of three figures.
She hadn’t played competitively since the FairBreak Invitational, where she hit half-centuries in two of her last three appearances for Tornadoes, however, she has already contributed with both bat and ball in the two games of this competition and is certainly the player to watch out for the Kiwis in this game.
Sophie Ecclestone (England): The top-ranked bowler in ODIs and T20Is currently, Sophie Ecclestone has been phenomenal for England ever since her debut in 2016 with her ability to restrict run-scoring and bag crucial wickets in the same brief.
The ever-accurate left-arm spin has fetched her 73 wickets at 15.83 in T20Is to date with an excellent economy of 5.94. The recent form is encouraging too: she bagged five wickets at 14 while conceding run-a-ball in England’s recent 3-0 sweep of South Africa at home.
Predicted Playing XI
New Zealand: Sophie Devine (C), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Izzy Gaze (WK), Lea Tahuhu, Hannah Rowe, Fran Jonas, Eden Carson
England: Heather Knight (C), Danielle Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (WK), Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Issy Wong, Sarah Glenn
Considering England women’s dominance over New Zealand in the format and the recent form of the hosts, it would be sensible to back the Three Lioness to win this game and top Group B and potentially face India in the semi-finals of the event.