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Cricket news - England seek quick turnaround; WI look to consolidate winning start

England lost to South Africa in their opening game

England lost to South Africa in their opening game

England vs Thailand

When Thailand's openers - Nattakan Chantam and Nattaya Boochatham - walked out to bat against the West Indies at the WACA in the Women's T20 WC game, many expected the Asian nation to get overawed by the occasion of playing in a big-ticket tournament. However, on a track that offered enough pace and bounce, Thailand gave a good account of themselves before going down by seven wickets.

Thailand found a bright spot in Nannapat Koncharoenkai - the wicketkeeper-batter, who was named as the rising star of Thailand's squad after the conclusion of the T20 Asia Cup in 2018, compiled an undefeated 33. Despite defending a meagre total, Boochatham and the experienced legspinner, Suleeporn Laomi, combined to make it hard work for West Indies' batters. The fielding too was top-notch.

The Asian nation also would be getting the chance to play at the Manuka Oval, with the track expected to offer relatively bounce than the WACA. Thailand also would hope for the likes of Boochatham (country's highest run-getter in the World Cup Qualifiers, 2017) and Naruemol Chaiwai to come good with the bat.

What about their opponents, England? The 2018 T20 WC finalist have started the tournament on a rather slippery note. After suffering a surprise loss against Sri Lanka in the warm-up game, England nose-dived to their first-ever loss to South Africa in a Women's T20 WC. On a used-up WACA surface, England's batters struggled to get going against Ayabonga Khaka's medium pace and Dane van Niekerk's legspin. If not for Natlie Sciver's fifty, England could have found themselves in a worse position. Even though Sophie Ecclestone kept England in the game with crucial scalps, South Africa scripted a famous six-wicket victory.

In the game against Thailand, England would face a lot of spin with Boochatham and Laomi expected to bowl the bulk of the overs. So, even though Thailand are newcomers, the experienced England side can't take them lightly, and need to show improvement.

When: Wednesday, February 26 - 3.00 PM local

Where: Manuka Oval, Canberra.

What to expect: The England-Thailand game would be the first game of the tournament to be played in Canberra. Traditionally, tracks in Canberra are good for batting.

Team News:

England: The European nation could field the same side that slipped to a loss versus South Africa. Meanwhile, Mady Villiers, the off-spinner, who tends to bowl from round the wicket, Lauren Winfield, the wicketkeeper-batter, are some of the options available for the side.

Squad: Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Danielle Wyatt, Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight (c), Fran Wilson, Katherine Brunt, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield, Sophie Ecclestone, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Glenn, Georgia Elwiss, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Mady Villiers

Thailand: The Asian nation could be tempted to pick Rosenan Kanoh, the young off-spinner, in the playing XI, especially in the backdrop of England's struggles to force the pace on slower tracks.

Squad: Nattakan Chantam, Nattaya Boochatham, Nannapat Koncharoenkai (wk), Naruemol Chaiwai, Chanida Sutthiruang, Sornnarin Tippoch (c), Onnicha Kamchomphu, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Suleeporn Laomi, Soraya Lateh, Rosenan Kanoh, Phannita Maya, Thipatcha Puttawong, Suwanan Khiaoto

West Indies were given a bit of scare by Thailand in their first game

West Indies vs Pakistan

West Indies began their T20 WC campaign with a small hiccup before recovering to overcome the newcomers Thailand. When the experienced middle order batter, Shemaine Campbelle was adjudged LBW off Chanida Sutthiruang, the Caribbean side was tottering at 27 for 4. At that juncture, it felt as if there was an outside chance of Thailand pulling off a memorable upset. However, Campbelle got the decision overturned with the help of the review system and alongside Stafanie Taylor took the side home.

West Indies, though, have enough to cheer about ahead of their second and crucial Group B game versus Pakistan in Canberra. Chinelle Henry and Shamilia Connell enjoyed the extra bounce on offer at the WACA to pick up wickets. Afy Fletcher, the legspinner, with over 100 international wickets and Anisa Mohammed kept things tight. Taylor also was among the wickets. West Indies still would be a tad concerned with Mohammed's form, as in the recent past, she has struggled to perform on a consistent basis in the shortest format of the game. On the batting front, West Indies would hope for the likes of Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews to provide support to Taylor.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will be playing their first game of the tournament. The Asian nation has been performing reasonably well in the recent past, capsulised by their fine show in South Africa where they won a couple of T20Is and that was followed by a 3-0 series victory against Bangladesh. Javeria Khan (257 runs in T20Is in 2019), Nida Dar (272 runs in T20Is in 2019) and Bismah Maroof (459 runs in T20Is in 2019) are the mainstays of the batting order.

Javeria and Maroof were also in good form in the recently-concluded T20I series versus England. On the other hand, Dar has partaken in the WBBL. However, Pakistan still seem to lack the required firepower in their batting. On the bowling front, in the absence of the veteran Sana Mir, the likes of Anam Amin, left-arm spin, Dar, off-spin and Diana Baig have to shore up the responsibility.

When: Wednesday, February 26 - 7.00 PM local

Where: Manuka Oval, Canberra.

What to expect: The pitch in Canberra is expected to favour the batters. The weather forecast is promising with a few clouds on the horizon.

Team news

Pakistan: With Ayesha Zafar and Nahida Khan dropped from the side, young guns - Muneeba Ali or Aiman Anwar - could get an opportunity to bat at the top of the order.

Squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Javeria Khan, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Nida Dar, Aimen Anwar, Muneeba Ali, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Anam Amin, Iram Javed, Syeda Aroob Shah

West Indies: The Caribbean side could be tempted to play the same playing XI that took on Thailand. However, one of the opening slots could still be a toss up between the all-rounder Lee-Ann Kirby and Britney Cooper.

Squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Lee Ann Kirby, Britney Cooper, Shemaine Campbelle, Chinelle Henry, Afy Fletcher, Shamilia Connell, Shakera Selman, Sheneta Grimmond, Cherry Ann Fraser, Aaliyah Alleyne

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