Previews of Tuesday’s opening day action between South Africa and Ireland, New Zealand and the West Indies, and India and Sri Lanka.
South Africa v Ireland
South Africa take pride of place on the opening day of the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup. Hosting the tournament for the first time, they play their opening game against IWCC Trophy qualifiers Ireland at Supersport Park, Centurion.
South Africa are competing in their third World Cup, having made the quarter-finals of the 11-team event in 1997, and the semi-finals of the 8-team tournament in 2000. Wicketkeeper Daleen Terblanche is the only player returning for her third World Cup, her match against Ireland will be her 15th World Cup game.
South Africa has only had one opponent in ODI cricket over the past two years: England, against whom they are on a six-match losing streak, including two losses last week.
Ireland have taken part in each of the last four World Cups, commencing in Australia in 1988. Miriam Grealey is Ireland’s leading World Cup run-scorer with 420 and this will be her fourth such tournament. Ireland’s most recent ODI experience consisted of three heavy defeats by New Zealand at home in July 2004.
South Africa and Ireland have met twice in World Cup action, and on both occasions the South Africans won by nine wickets with plenty of overs to spare: at at Pune in 1997 and at Hagley Oval, Christchurch in 2000. Linda Olivier scored 78 not out and 101 not out in those two matches, but the Irish will be pleased to know that she is now retired.
New Zealand v West Indies
The reigning World Cup holders are not fancied to retain their title in 2005. New Zealand’s narrow victory over Australia in 2000 marked the swansong for such illustrious veterans as Debbie Hockley, Catherine Campbell and Clare Nicholson. No one among the current White Ferns is within striking distance of Hockley’s world record 1501 World Cup career runs – former NZ captain, the hamstrung Emily Drumm, is closest with 540. New Zealand’s recent ODI form has seen them lose 2-3 in England last August, and then lose 0-3 to Australia in the Rose Bowl a fortnight ago.
The West Indies are competing in their third World Cup, and their current captain, 47 year-old Stephanie Power, has been in them all. They missed the 2000 tournament when the number of teams taking part was cut from eleven to eight. They qualified for South Africa by finishing second in the IWCC Trophy qualifying tournament in July 2003, ahead of the more fancied Netherlands and Pakistan.
The West Indies’ most recent ODI outings came twelve months ago with a tour of the subcontinent. They lost to India 0-5 before defeating Pakistan 4-3.
India v Sri Lanka
India is competing in its sixth World Cup, reaching the semi-finals on both of the last two occasions. Sri Lanka is playing its third World Cup. India and Sri Lanka last met in a five-match ODI series in April 2004, India winning 5-0. Their scheduled meeting in the 1997 World Cup was washed out, but in 2000 India came out on top by a margin of 141 runs.
(Note: This article was originally written for the Cricketwoman website in 2005. It may contain links to Cricketarchive which have long since ceased to exist. Cricketwoman was a partner website of Cricketarchive at the time of the 2005 Womens World Cup. – RE, 2017-07-21)