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NZ-W vs AUS-W, 1st ODI: A close series on the cards

Match: New Zealand Women vs Australia Women (NZ-W vs AUS-W, 1st ODI)

Date: April 4, 2021

Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

After an action packed T20 International series, the series between New Zealand Women and Australia Women moves over to a three match ODI series, starting Sunday. The hosts got a fine win in the second T20I without experienced campaigner Sophie Devine, and they will be eager to carry forward that form into the 50-overs as well. 

However, they will not have their task easy, as the Australians are on a 21 successive ODI win streak, and are the firm favourites to win the series. Led by Meg Lanning, the visiting team have a feared bowling attack comprising Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck, while Ellyse Perry lends balance as well. The batting will be dependent on the likes of Alyssa Healy, Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Beth Mooney, who have all proven their skills over a long period of time. 

The hosts will see the return of Lea Tahuhu for the series, and they will be eager to put up a fight against a formidable unit. 

Weather Update and Pitch Report of NZ-W vs AUS-W, 1st ODI:

The temperatures will hover around the  12 degree mark on Sunday, with humidity at a high of 91 percent. There is next to no chance of rain, and we can expect a full game on out=r hands. 

A batting track beckons at the venue, and the fast bowlers will have plenty of aid as well. Biding time in the middle will be the need of the hour upfront, after which the runs will be easy to come by. The team that wins the toss will look to bat first. 

NZ-W Expected XI and Team News:

Lea Tahuhu will return to the side, while Sophie Devine, who missed the second T20I due to exhaustion and fatigue, is expected to return as well. There is no official update on Frances Mackay’s fitness, but we expect her to slot in. 

X Factors: 

Sophie Devine: The skipper is a crucial player and will be eager to get going on Sunday. The 31-year old has scored close to 2700 runs (she has 2697 currently) in 111 ODI games thus far, at an average of 31. She has also picked up 75 wickets, at an economy rate of 4.36. 

Amy Sattherthwaite: The cricketer is the only woman in the world to have four successive ODI tons to her name. She has 4067 runs with an impressive average of 40 and a strike rate in the mid seventies. Overall, Sattherthwaite has scored seven ODI tons and 22 fifties, which is evidence of her consistency and her contribution. 

Probable XI: 

Sophie Devine (C), Hayley Jensen, Amy Satterthwaite, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Katey Martin (WK), Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Kerr and Frankie Mackay

AUS-W Expected XI and Team News:

The Australians were bolstered by the return of Ellyse Perry and Tayla Vlaeminck, who had been out of the circuit due to respective injuries throughout the last year, in the T20I series. The duo are expected to feature on Saturday, with not many changes to the XI that played the last T20I. 

X Factors: 

Beth Mooney: One of the finest batters in the world, Beth Mooney was the leading run scorer in the recent T20 World Cup, and also ended as the highest run scorer in the Big Bash League. Mooney has scored 1104 runs in 38 ODIs and will want to carry forward her form. 

Alyssa Healy: The opener disappointed in the T20Is, but she has the class to turn it around in the 50 overs. She has 1772 runs in 76 ODI games, and is unstoppable when she gets going. 

Probable XI

Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (WK), Meg Lanning (C), Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Molineux, Jess Jonassen, Nicola Carey, Megan Schutt and Georgia Wareham/Tayla Vlaeminck

Head to Head record of NZ-W vs AUS-W: 

Overall: The two teams have played each other 129 times in the history of ODI cricket, with New Zealand winning only 31 games. They have lost a whopping 96 ODIs against Australia, with two matches ending in No Result.

Last 5 matches: New Zealand Women have lost the last five games against Australia. In fact, they have lost their last nine ODIs against the Aussies, with their last win against them coming back in 2017.

Last meeting in NZ: The last time the two nations played in New Zealand was way back in 2017, when Australia won the three match ODI series 2-1. 

Match prediction of NZ-W vs AUS-W, 1st ODI: 

Considering the overall head to head record against Australia, New Zealand Women will be on the backfoot, despite the presence of some big names. We back the visiting team to not only win the upcoming game but seal the series as well. 

MPL Fantasy XI: 

A Healy, A Satterthwaite, A Gardner, B Mooney, M Lanning, E Perry, N Carey, S Devine, L Tahuhu, M Schutt, R Mair

Captain and vice-captain selection:

Ellyse Perry: The all-rounder did not have the best return to international cricket, as she could only score 25 games in the two T20Is, but she has been a proven match winner, and will be eager to get runs under her belt. Perry averages 52.10 with the bat in the format and 24.29 with the ball, and will be a key player to watch out for. 

Lea Tahuhu: The pacer returns to cricketer after a long injury layoff, and she will be eager to unleash herself. In 69 ODIs, Tahuhu has picked up 71 wickets at an economy rate of just 4.41.

Also Read: Indian cricket all-rounders: A list refer to while building your fantasy cricket team

Sarah Waris
A postgraduate in English Literature, I have taken on the tough task of limiting the mystic world of cricket to a few hundred words


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