It’s not impossible for New Zealand to drop out of the Four today. But the elements could have their say in Match Day Five of the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup. The South African Weather Service is forecasting a 30% chance of thunderstorms in the Pretoria/Tshwane region this afternoon.
The match of the day today is without question between India and New Zealand at the Tshwane University of Technology. Also in action today: Australia v Sri Lanka (LC de Villiers Oval), England v South Africa (Harlequins), and Ireland v West Indies (Laudium).
India v New Zealand:
India will be the proverbial cock-a-hoop after Monday’s seven-wicket victory over England. New Zealand comfortably disposed of Ireland on Monday, and victory for the White Ferns today is vital, especially with England waiting for them in the next round on Friday.
Historically, India and New Zealand have met seven times in World Cup action, New Zealand winning six, India none and one tied. It was a nine-wicket win to NZ at Patna in 1978. Three meetings in the 1982 World Cup all favoured home team New Zealand. Maia Lewis is the only player from New Zealand’s 42-run victory at Ealing in 1993 who will be taking the field today.
Lewis, Rebecca Rolls, Anju Jain, Deepu Marathe (nee Kulkarni) and Neetu David were all involved in the tied match at Indore in 1997. India needed 177 to win and were bowled out for 176 with five balls to spare.
I am predicting India to break their World Cup duck against the White Ferns today.
England v South Africa:
South Africa was England’s nemesis in the 2000 World Cup, but while England’s form has improved in the past four years, South Africa’s has unravelled. Cri-Zelda Brits is, along with Johmari Logtenberg, South Africa’s most exciting prospect, but it will all come to nought if she can’t bowl straight. England had already been qualified for the final by their enthusiastic publicity machine, but their loss to India should have been no surprise to the objective eye. They should, nonetheless, be much too strong for South Africa today.
England and South Africa have met only twice in World Cup play before today. England won by seven runs at Hyderabad in 1997 in a match reduced to twenty overs-a-side, predating by seven years the first scheduled Twenty20 international. The margin in South Africa’s favour at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in 2000 was five wickets.
South Africa start Wednesday in sixth position in the 2005 World Cup and should still be there at day’s end.
Ireland v West Indies:
Ireland would have pre-tournament favourites for this match, but the performance of the West Indian outfit has been the most pleasant surprise of the 2005 World Cup.
These two teams have met only once in the World Cup, with the West Indies winning by 19 runs at Dorking in 1993. Stephanie Power and Miriam Grealey are still in attendance for their teams today.
Ireland and the West Indies were the two teams to qualify for this World Cup from the 2003 IWCC Trophy. In their only meeting in that tournament, Ireland won by 32 runs at Amstelveen.
The West Indies start Wednesday in fifth position. A bonus point win over Ireland today, combined with a bonus point win by India over New Zealand, could see them, for the next 48 hours at least, in fourth place.
Australia v Sri Lanka:
Australia beat Sri Lanka by exactly 200 runs in their only World Cup meeting, at Hagley Oval in 2000. Karen Rolton scored 154 not out that day. Sri Lanka have fallen a bit short of expectations so far in this World Cup, and if they’re not careful today’s margin could be just as large.
(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)