ICC Women’s WC 2017: Pakistan, Lanka look set to qualify
Dubai , Feb.18 : Pakistan and Sri Lanka look all set to make it to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 as they take on India and Bangladesh respectively, in their last round of Super Six matches at the qualifying event on Sunday.
India lead the Super Six points table with eight points while South Africa is the other side to have qualified with six points. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are on four points each and close to qualifying, while Bangladesh is on two points and with a long shot at qualifying as it needs to pull off a huge win in its last match.
Pakistan should be through even with a loss due to its high net run-rate while Bangladesh will have to beat Sri Lanka by 85 runs if it hopes to make it ahead of Sri Lanka. In case it is chasing, Bangladesh will have to do it in quick time, depending on the target. For example, if Sri Lanka scores 200, Bangladesh will have to get to the target in 27.1 overs in order to edge out the opposition.
Ireland plays its last match against South Africa but is out of contention as it has no points in the Super Six, which includes points carried over from wins against other qualifiers from a team’s preliminary group, even as they play qualifiers from the other group in the second stage of the tournament.
World champion Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies have already qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 by finishing in the top four of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Pakistan’s huge 86 runs victory over Ireland on Friday means they have not only boosted its run-rate but also gains confidence going into the match against arch rival India.
Pakistan captain Sana Mir said, “Our run-rate gives us a breather for our qualification campaign. We can go with confidence in the match against India, which has been doing well – their bowlers, batters, everyone is contributing. It is going to take our ‘A’ game to pull off an upset tomorrow. For now, we just want to do our basics right and play good, disciplined cricket.”
“Our batters have been doing quite well, our top three batters are the leading run-scorers in the tournament, so I’m pretty happy. Hopefully, we can do it one more day.”
Pakistan’s number three batter Javeria Khan leads the list of run-scorers with 297 runs, which includes runs against sides without ODI status. Openers Nahida Khan (219) and Ayesha Zafar (180) are second and sixth in the list, respectively.
India captain Mithali Raj, who too has shown fine form with 207 runs so far, says her side has won all its matches but not dominated as she would have wanted to.
“If we are not able to dominate at this level then playing against Australia and England (in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017) is not going to be easy. That’s a World Cup, not a series. It is about that one match in the league and you have to be at your best to beat them. In terms of that we have a long way to go,” said Mithali.
South Africa is now aiming to win its last match against Ireland and qualify for the final in which India is assured of a place.
South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk said, “Qualifying for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 was the main goal, now the goal is to enter the final. But we are worried about our fielding. You can’t win games taking 13-14 wickets. We create chances but don’t take them so it means taking those many more wickets. That is an area of concern.”
Sri Lanka are not taking things lightly in their last match even though they are comfortably placed to seal a place in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera said, “We are looking forward to win the match tomorrow. Qualification for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 is huge and we want to give our best tomorrow. Our aim is to learn from our mistakes in the tournament and play to the best of our ability.”