Australia take on Sri Lanka tomorrow night in Perth, with both teams trying to secure their first wins of the tournament. The loser is effectively eliminated. It’s a key match up with plenty up for grabs.
1. Chamari Athapaththu is the key
There is one player who can single-handedly decide the game tomorrow and that is the Sri Lankan skipper who is a genuine super star in world cricket.
Has scored a few limited overs centuries against Australia (three in fact) and will be looking to add to her tally tomorrow.
Her teams reliance on Athapaththu was seen last night, Sri Lanka were cruising to a big total at 1/87 in the 12th over when Lea Tahuhu deceived her with a clever caught and bowled. Sri Lanka ended up scrambling to 127. Her dismissal cost Sri Lanka around 50 runs.
Players like Hasini Perera and Harshitha Madavi need to support the skipper if Sri Lanka are any chance of winning their first ever game against Australia at any level of women’s cricket.
2. Australia will have a field day
Sri Lanka’s fielding was ordinary last night. Three dropped catches including two early in the NZ innings put paid to any chance of them winning.
The ground fielding was sloppy at times too with too many balls getting through the infield.
Australia are the superior fielding team and won’t be as generous as the Sri Lankan’s were to the Kiwis.
Sri Lanka need to make sure their catches stick and their fielding is on song if they are to pull off a major upset.
3. It's wide open
Australia’s loss to India in the opener on Friday has thrown this tournament wide open and Australia are now under serious pressure to win tomorrow night.
A loss could mean the hosts could face elimination before the semi finals, a disaster for tournament organisers who were hoping for a world record crowd at the final at the MCG on March 8.
India’s impressive spin stifled Australia on Friday night and Sri Lanka have an impressive array of spinners who will have taken note.
It will be interesting to see how Ellyse Perry’s team respond to the opening game loss.