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Eves face SL in crunch tie

After suffering a 32-run loss against defending champions England, Mithali Raj led Indian team would have to pull up their socks before locking horns with Sri Lanka in a must-win game for both the teams in ICC Women's World Cup at Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday.

With all the teams in Group A having won a match each, the hosts would try to keep their dreams afloat in the series, by winning the crucial league game tomorrow, if they want to qualify for the knock out stages. After a comprehensive 105-run win against West Indies in the opener, the Indian eves struggled to chase down England's target of 272 yesterday.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had caused the biggest upset of the tournament with their last-ball win against England but in their second match they lost to West Indies by 209 runs on Sunday. A record opening wicket stand of 175 between India's first-ever World Cup centurion Murugesan Tirushkamini and Poonam Raut, set up a huge total for the hosts to defend against West Indies  in the first game and India would hope the openers provide them a good platform, after they missed out against England. With vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur notching up her maiden century in the previous game, India's middle order would be bolstered, though other players would have to pitch in to support her.

India have maintained a clean sheet against Lanka in their 17 matches so far, winning 16 while one was a no result. But India are in no mood to take their neighbours lightly and would like to put their best foot forward in the day/night game on Tuesday. ‘We are not going to take Sri Lanka lightly because on such wickets especially, it could be anybody's game. They have done well against England. I am hoping that our team puts on a good effort as usual,’ India skipper Mithali Raj said.


ENGLAND TAKE ON WINDIES IN KEEN CONTEST

With all teams having achieved a win each, the Group A contests in the ICC Women's World Cup move into the climactic stage with holders England taking on an equally buoyant West Indies even as hosts India clash with Sri Lanka.

The England-West Indies contest, a day match at the BKC ground, is between two sides who have bounced back with comprehensive wins over India and Sri Lanka, respectively, after losing their opening games. The winners would go through to the Super Six stage and the losers would have to await the result of the other day-night game to see whether they are still in the hunt.

On Sunday, England outclassed India by 32 runs with their captain and five-time World Cupper Charlotte Edwards leading from the front with a classy century (109) after a shocking loss in their lung opener to Sri Lanka. Likewise, 21-year-old opener Stefanie Taylor did a splendid match-winning job with a personal high score of 171, that paved the way for a thumping 209-run win for the West Indies against Sri Lanka. Thanks to their record total of 368 made on the MIG Club ground with 60-yard boundaries, West Indies are on top of the group with a net run rate of plus 1. India and England follow behind the group leaders and Sri Lanka are placed at the bottom with a net run rate of -2.


PAK, SA CLASH IN MUST-WIN WC CONTEST


With a Super Six berth at stake, the struggling teams of Pakistan and South Africa will clash in a do-or-die Group B women’s World Cup match on Tuesday. With two defeats each, both Pakistan and South Africa are facing early exit from the tournament. Since it will be their last group stage match, the loser will be sent crashing from the event while the winner will move to the next stage. Pakistan has more to worry than the Proteas as neither their batting nor bowling has clicked. They managed meagre scores of 84 and 104 in the encounters against Australia and New Zealand respectively and the bowlers too failed to make an impression. South Africa though had been at least competitive against Australia although they were out-batted by the Kiwis in their opening match. Bismah Maroof is the only batswoman in the Pakistan team to have offered some resistance to the rival bowlers. Captain Sana Mir’s failure in the top-order has hit them badly and they need their skipper to lead from the front. Either the top-order or the middle-order players have batted for South Africa. Trisha Chetty and Marizanna Cap delivered against Australia while Susan Benade, Cri-zelda Brits and skipper Mugnin du Preez batted well for South Africa against the Kiwis. It will be difficult for Pakistan bowlers to stop the in-form Proteas, who undoubtedly will start favourites.


AUS, NZ FACE-OFF IN TRANS-TASMAN CLASH


Already through to the Super Six stage, Australia and New Zealand will lock horns to decide the Group B topper in a mouth-watering ICC Women’s World Cup match on Tuesday. New Zealand, the 2000 edition champions, have already made their intentions clear by notching up two consecutive wins, against Pakistan and South Africa. Five-time champions Australia are also a strong title contender what is their batsmen are yet to fire in unison in the tournament. Against Pakistan in their ling opener, Australian batsmen struggled to post just 188 before their bowlers saved the day, skittling Pakistan for just 84 runs to win the match by 91 runs. The Australians would not be treated so kindly tomorrow by their neighbours as New Zealand looked the side to beat in the tournament with solid performances both with the bat and ball. Captain Suzie Bates has been in menacing form with a 73 against South Africa and 65 not out against Pakistan. Her colleague Sophie Devine cracked 145 to set her side’s easy win over South Africa. Their bowlers have also been in brilliant form, skittling out South Africa for just 170 and Pakistan for 104. Sian Ruck took four wickets in the match against South Africa while Rachael Candy grabbed five wickets against Pakistan. Going by current form, New Zealand are a better batting side as the Australians have not exactly clicked as a team.
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