Pakistan aim to break shackles against Thailand; Sri Lanka, West Indies keen to start well

The captains of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, and West Indies. © Getty

The ODI World Cup Qualifier has gotten off to an interesting start as Thailand and Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe and Pakistan respectively on the opening day. On day two (November 23), Ireland, West Indies, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and USA would want to start their campaign on a positive note.

Ireland will take on West Indies, probably the strongest team in the tournament. Coming into the Qualifiers, Ireland have the experience of playing in Zimbabwe as recently as October this year. Against West Indies, the team management would be hoping that the bowlers will continue to deliver the solid performances. 

Orla Prendergast, Eimear Richardson, Cara Murray, Celeste Raack and Leah Paul will be key for Ireland in restricting a well-balanced West Indies top-six. With the bat, Gaby Lewis and Leah Paul have been in incredible form. The duo has carried the batting lineup on their shoulders more often than not. However, with the emergence of the 16-year-old prodigy in Amy Hunter, Ireland would be hoping to punch above their weight in their first game.

For West Indies, Deandra Dottin and Rashada Williams have provided a fresh balance at the top. With the experience of Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews in the middle-order, their batting order looks the most balanced of all teams. In the bowling department too, Shakera Selman and Shamila Connell, along with the spin trio of Anisa Mohammed, Taylor and Matthews, are likely to give tough time to the Ireland batters. Having done well in the warm-up matches, Taylor & Co. would be confident of starting with a win as they take on Ireland in their opening game.

ALSO READ: ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier: Group B – Know the teams

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will make their return to international cricket for the first time since the 2020 T20 World Cup as they take on Netherlands in their first game of the tournament. With three players testing positive for COVID-19, Sri Lanka could be in a bit of a panic mode. However, ICC has said that matches will go on as per schedule with the Sri Lankan players getting tested once again ahead of the match on Tuesday. Skipper Chamari Atapattu would be key to their campaign as she is the only one to have had any match practice in the lead up to the tournament. However, they also have some exciting young talents -Vishmi Gunaratne, Imesha Dulani, and Sachini Nisansala -who could potentially light up the tournament. The skipper and team management will be keen to start with a victory against Netherlands. 

The Dutch will play their first ODI since 2011 after the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Bangladesh. Although they do not have much experience in the 50-over format, their recent form isn’t that bad. They will be relying heavily on Sterre Kalis to hold the batting order together. It will be a tough start for them against Sri Lanka, but if they manage to cause an upset, it will break up the tournament wide open. 

After successfully defeating Zimbabwe in their first match, Thailand would be up against under pressure Pakistan. Thailand put an all-round batting performance in their opening match, with as many as five players contributing to the total. However, against Pakistan, they would want one of the top-order batters to get a big score. With the ball, they will be hoping for more from Nattaya Boochatham, who was the leading wicket-taker during their previous series against Zimbabwe.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have been dependent on Nida Dar and Aliya Riaz to revive the innings after losing early wickets in recent times. After losing to Bangladesh in their first game, Javeria Khan and co would be hoping for Muneeba Ali and Omaima Sohail to stand up and perform well. The skipper herself hasn’t been in the greatest of forms and will look to turn around things. If Thailand pull off a heist against Pakistan, it would be some tournament for them, especially with the points from the group stage being carried on to the Super Six.

ALSO READ: ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier: Group B – Know the teams

Having got the better of Pakistan in the first game, Bangladesh would be delighted going into the game against USA. Fargana Hoque and Rumana Ahmed will hold the key in the batting order. However, Bangladesh would want their openers to contribute a little bit more. With the ball, the spinners will be the trump card for them in the next game. Nahida Akter has been on top form and would want to continue the same against USA.

Meanwhile, USA will be making their ODI debut in their first clash against Bangladesh. However, skipper Sindhu Sriharsha, vice-captain Shebani Bhaskar, and Southern Vipers seamer Tara Norris have the experience of playing List-A cricket in different parts of the world. Norris, with the new ball, will be critical for USA. If the left-arm pacer runs through the top-order, they could have a field day. The team management would want the senior players to perform well so that they could put up a fight against Bangladesh.

Some exciting results on the cards on day two. Which team do you think will cause an upset come Tuesday (November 23)?

Squads:

Netherlands: Heather Siegers (c), Babette de Leede, Caroline de Lange, Eva Lynch, Frédérique Overdijk, Gwen Bloemen, Hannah Landheer, Iris Zwilling, Isabel van der Woning, Jolien van Vliet, Juliet Post, Marloes Braat, Robine Rijke, Silver Siegers, Sterre Kalis.

Ireland: Laura Delany (c), Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron. Travelling reserve: Sarah Forbes. Non-travelling reserves: Alana Dalzell and Kate McEvoy

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams

Sri Lanka: Chamari Atapattu (c), Harshitha Madavi, Inoka Ranaweera, Nilakshi de Silva, Hasini Perera, Sugandika Kumari, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Ama Kanchana, Udeshika Prabodhani, Achini Kulasuriya, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kavisha Dilhari, Tharika Sewwandi, Prasadani Weerakkody, Imesha Dulani, Vishmi Gunaratne, Sachini Nisansala. Reserves: Umesha Thimashini, Kawya Kavindi, Madushika Meththananda, Sathya Sandeepani, Lihini Apsara

Netherlands: Heather Siegers (c), Babette de Leede, Caroline de Lange, Eva Lynch, Frédérique Overdijk, Gwen Bloemen, Hannah Landheer, Iris Zwilling, Isabel van der Woning, Jolien van Vliet, Juliet Post, Marloes Braat, Robine Rijke, Silver Siegers, Sterre Kalis.

Pakistan: Javeria Khan (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wicketkeeper), Nashra Sundhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper) Traveling reserves: Aiman Anwar, Maham Tariq and Rameen Shamim

Thailand: Naruemol Chaiwai (C), Chanida Sutthiruang, Thiapatcha Putthawong, Nannaphat Chaihan, Banthida Leephatthana, Nattakan Chantham, Suleeporn Laomi, Sornnarin Tippoch, Rosenanee Kanho, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Nattaya Boochatham, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Nannapat Koncharoenkai (VC), Kanyakorn Bunthansen.

USA: Sindhu Sriharsha (captain), Shebani Bhaskar, Akshatha Rao, Uzma Iftikhar, Tara Norris, Anika Kolan, Chetnaa Prasad, Moksha Chaudhary, Sara Farooq, Isani Vaghela, Gargi Bhogle, Suhani Thadani, Lisa Ramjit, Geetika Kodali, Mahika Kandanala

Bangladesh: Nigar Sultana (captain), Khadija-Tul Kubra, Fahima Khatun, Salma Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Fargana Hoque, Nuzhat Tasnia, Rumana Ahmed, Lata Mondol, Nahida Akter, Murshida Khatun, Ritu Moni, Fariha Islam, Sharmin Akter, Sobhana Mostary

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