New Zealand face Sri Lanka in women’s World T20 (Preview)

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Though overshadowed by the men’s event, the women’s World T20 cricket tournament will mark its beginning on Tuesday. On the first day, India take on Bangladesh in Bengaluru while New Zealand take on Sri Lanka at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here.

Third-ranked New Zealand will hope to begin on a winning note against hopefuls Sri Lanka in a Group A fixture.

Sri Lanka will rely on the talent of skipper Shashikala Siriwardene and Chamari Atapattu. But they have consistently underperformed in the shortest format, losing their last eight T20Is.

They come into this tournament following an away series loss against India. And are not fancied to reverse that tide in the tournament, particularly against the Kiwis whose main aim will be to stop the charge of top-ranked Australia who have won three out of four women’s World T20 to date.

New Zealand seem to have the edge over other teams by virtue of form and a settled, experienced team.

They also will be eager to lift their maiden World T20 trophy after being the runners-up in the first two editions of the competition.

New Zealand, however, lost both their warm-up games against the England women in Chennai. Sri Lanka fared better, beating Bangladesh but losing against India.

They will have the advantage of playing in Indian conditions recently and would have assessed the situation better. But they will be under pressure to register their first-ever international win over New Zealand across formats.

Sri Lanka are waiting for the availability of Siriwardene, who pulled her hamstring in the second warm-up game against India and was stretchered off.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by five wickets and will hope their bowling delivers as they have a balanced batting line-up with the likes of Inoka Ranaweera and Udeshika Prabodhani in their ranks.

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