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Preview: Australia take on West Indies in the first semi-final of the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
The two teams set to battle it out on Wednesday couldn’t have had more different routes to the semi-final.
Australia sewed up a semi-final spot with two games to go while the Maroon Warriors could only watch on as South Africa defeated India in the last over of the final group game to confirm the Windies’ place in the final four.
It perhaps puts the pressure on Australia – and this is something they have been building towards since their defeat to India in the semi-finals of the 2017 edition.
They bounced back with consecutive ICC Women’s T20 World Cup wins and are now on a quest to hold both trophies at the same time.
Captain Meg Lanning has well and truly led from the front, racking up the highest score of the group stage with 135 not out against South Africa.
She sits second in the overall run charts behind Laura Wolvaardt, and her vice-captain Rachael Haynes is one position behind her.
Despite Australia’s dominance, they say they are a side still searching for a perfect game and were given a scare by newcomers Bangladesh in their final match of the league stages.
While the wickets have been evenly shared among Australia’s bowlers – spin trio Jess Jonassen, Ashleigh Gardner and Alana King all have eight – one West Indies player is topping all the charts.
Hayley Matthews has enjoyed a stellar tournament, scoring the first century of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 with 119 against New Zealand in the opening game, also taking two wickets.
She has continued to pile on the runs and sits 11th with 226, the most of any of the West Indies players, and she is out front as their best wicket-taker too.
Matthews is the only player in this ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to have opened the batting and bowling and is thriving under the pressure, having taken 10 wickets including career-best figures of four for 15 against Bangladesh.
Australia won by seven wickets when the two sides met in the group stages, also in Wellington, and were also the victors in the 2013 final, the only time the West Indies have progressed to the showpiece.
So, while Stafanie Taylor’s side will be looking for revenge, Lanning will be hoping to maintain Australia’s sterling record against the West Indies having lost only once in 13 ODI meetings.
Australia: Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (w), Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown, Grace Harris, Nicola Carey, Amanda Wellington
West Indies: Deandra Dottin, Rashada Williams, Hayley Matthews, Stafanie Taylor (c), Shemaine Campbelle (w), Chedean Nation, Kycia Knight, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell, Anisa Mohammed, Shakera Selman, Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry Ann Fraser
With inputs from ICC media zone
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